Andrew Duffell, President & CEO
Research Park at Florida Atlantic University
Andrew Duffell is a recognized thought-leader on the strategic role of business creation, recruitment, retention and expansion as a foundation for the Florida economy. A sought-after speaker and panelist, Duffell presents a pragmatic approach to working with start-ups and Fortune 100 companies on market entry and development strategies.
As president and CEO of the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, he has brought renewed energy and growth, formulating and implementing its first strategic plan and raising its profile as a significant economic asset for South Florida. Under his leadership, Research Park has added more than $274 million annually to the regional economy. Duffell has successfully integrated the Park’s 48 technology-based companies into the University’s community of stakeholders to increase research, education, internship opportunities and technology transfer. The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for its 2012 project in the category of Partnerships with Educational Institutions for communities with populations greater than 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Duffell was instrumental in the bid to host the Association of University Research Parks 2014 International Conference at the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University’s Boca Raton campus. The conference is a prestigious annual event attended by more than 250 international and domestic leaders from universities around the globe. In addition, the U.S. State Department selected Duffell to represent the U.S. in Paraguay to visit emerging science and technology parks universities where the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University served as a model university-affiliated institution to emulate for this developing nation.
Duffell signed a long-term agreement with Florida LambdaRail (FLR) to meet increasing demand for advanced data communications services, becoming the first research park in the state to do so. As a result of this agreement, companies at the Research Park can now collaborate on cutting edge research with other companies throughout Florida, the nation and around the world. He oversaw the expansion and relocation of the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) in response to the growing demand by startup companies for its services. The TBI houses 35 startup technology companies, each of which receives business and consulting services with the goal of becoming established businesses and permanent residents in the Research Park.
He was named the “2013 Young Professional of the Year” by the Florida Economic Development Council and honored in 2012 by the South Florida Business Journal as a top “40 Under 40” in South Florida. In 2010 the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean Chapter awarded him its “Young Leader of the Year” vision award and he was named the 2008 South Florida Business Journal’s “Up and Comer of the Year” for finance and economic development.
With a degree in European studies and post-graduate work in human resources, finance and strategy, Duffell began his U.S. career working with the North of England Inward Investment Agency where he assisted U.S. companies with expansion into European markets. Using his bilingual capabilities, it was in this early capacity that Duffell honed his business development skills.
At the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Duffell served as senior vice president and helped orchestrate the recruitment and expansion of local, national and international technology companies, which continue to add approximately $3 billion annually to the regional economy. Due in part to Duffell’s work, South Florida is now home to Max Planck Florida Institute, one of the most revered bioscience research institutes in the world.
Duffell also worked with Enterprise Florida, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties to create the first trade mission and marketing materials to promote South Florida as the global business destination in the region.
His current civic leadership roles include serving on the FAU College of Science’s Advisory Board; the FAU Dean of Engineering’s Executive Advisory Council; FAU’s technology development committee; the Florida Economic Development Council; the Board of Directors for the South Florida Technology Alliance; as treasurer for the Florida Research Parks Network (FRPN); and on the Life Sciences South Florida (LSSF) Executive Committee. He was a final round judge for the FAU Business Plan Competition and served on FAU’s search committees for a new Associate Vice President for Research and Associate Vice President for Community Engagement. He is chairman of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s economic development committee. He is a weekly contributor to the Sun Sentinel’s South Florida 100, a column where South Florida’s most influential people weigh in on current events.