The University of Central Florida was awarded more than $300,000 in state grants to help move research from the laboratories to the marketplace.

The money comes from the $2 million the 2010 Florida Legislature appropriated for the State University Research Commercialization Assistance Grants Program. A total of 21 projects from 10 state universities were awarded grants. Like UCF, the University of Florida earned four grants. Both universities received the most grants in the state.

The projects awarded funding hold the promise of benefiting Floridians in a variety of ways, from improving devices that help premature babies to developing alternative energy technology. A thriving research community also is key to Florida’s economic health.

UCF’s research focuses on ways to diagnose prostate cancer early, destroy breast cancer, revolutionize communications and improve blood-testing technology used in the medical field.

“We are thankful that the legislature recognizes the caliber of commercialization possibilities here at home and has seen fit to help four UCF technologies develop and hopefully take root in Florida,” said M.J. Soileau, vice president for Research & Commercialization at UCF.

For a complete list of the projects from around the state visit the grant program website.

“This is an exciting day for the dedicated researchers, faculty members and students who work so hard conducting lab work, testing the theories and innovations that will help create jobs and transform our state into a knowledge-based economy for long-term economic growth,” said Ann Duncan of Tampa, the Board of Governors representative on the FTRSB who is also the chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee on the 17-member Florida Board of Governors of the State University System.

“We appreciate the legislative support for commercialization grants, and the Board of Governors is confident that these awards will translate into

extraordinary examples of collaboration across our public university system,” she added.

Overall, 45 proposals were submitted.

Elected officials recognize the importance of research being conducted at Florida’s universities.

“Our ability to take to market promising research from our public universities is critical to Florida’s future economic health and is one of the best investments that we can make on behalf of the citizens of our state,” said Rep. Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine.