Andrew Duffell, President & CEO
Research Park at Florida Atlantic University
Duffell’s international background and multiple economic development roles have shaped his forward-thinking and problem-solving approach regarding the development of South Florida’s economy using technology as a catalyst.
Since becoming president & CEO of the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University in 2011, the overall economic impact of the technology and research-based companies in the Research Park has increased 61% and the number of high paying jobs has grown 216%, from 752 to 1,624 in 2014. Contribution to the region’s economy has surged, largely due to the repositioning efforts Duffell has implemented. The Research Park has been re-branded to become highly visible, re-engaged in the business and higher education community and its relationships with leaders throughout the region have been strengthened and as a result, the Research Park is perceived as a valuable asset in the region’s economic development efforts.
To ensure the Research Park has a viable pipeline of companies to move into it, Duffell has refocused the efforts of the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) which now houses 15 emerging high-tech companies that collectively raised $17.2M in investment capital in 2014.
Duffell has worked to ensure that the Research Park and TBI strategic plans complement those of key partners such as the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, the two economic development organizations in the Research Park’s service area, as well as that of Florida Atlantic University (FAU), its primary academic and research partner. In doing so, he has forged links between Research Park companies and the student and faculty body at FAU that have resulted in new research projects and employment of FAU graduates by Research Park tenants.
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) recognized the Research Park’s accomplishments for the past two consecutive years with silver awards for excellence in economic development in 2013 and 2014. Duffell’s personal achievements were recently recognized by the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC), which honored him as the “young economic development professional” in 2013 and in January 2015 he was recognized as a “40 Under 40 Rising Star in Economic Development” by Development Counsellors International (DCI) at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Leadership Summit.
Prior to joining the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, Duffell was Senior Vice President for Recruitment, Retention & Expansion at the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc. In that capacity, he led the local team that successfully secured the Max Planck Society’s decision to create its first Western Hemisphere institute in Jupiter, Florida.
In 2000 he was conferred the degree of Master of Arts (Hons) in European Studies by the University of Aberdeen and he is on schedule to graduate from Florida Atlantic University with a Master of Business Administration in 2015.