The Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute (FIPR Institute) was established by Florida law in June 2010. This legislation transformed the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research into a research institute within the University of South Florida Polytechnic. It also broadened the Institute's research program into non-phosphate topics such as energy, and the mining and processing of minerals other than phosphate. However, phosphate-related research will continue to be the focus of the Institute. As of July 1, 2012, the FIPR Institute became part of Florida Polytechnic University. USF has agreed to seamlessly continue all services until Florida Polytechnic University can do so.
Originally, the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research (FIPR) was created in 1978 as a state agency to study phosphate issues that impact Florida’s citizens, environment and economy and to be a phosphate information resource.
Scientists and engineers throughout the world apply for FIPR Institute grants to conduct phosphate-related studies supporting the mission of the Institute: improving the environment, protecting public health and increasing mining and processing efficiency. FIPR Institute staff biologists, engineers and chemists also conduct in-house research.
Independent panels of experts and FIPR Institute research directors review proposals and make funding recommendations to the Institute's Board of Directors.
Board members make funding decisions at public meetings held three times a year. Multi-year projects must be reviewed and approved annually for continued funding.
The Institute's Board of Directors consists of two phosphate industry representatives and one environmentalist appointed by the Governor of Florida, a regulatory representative appointed by the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Chief Executive Officer of the University of South Florida Polytechnic.
The FIPR Institute's phosphate research is funded with a portion of the phosphate severance tax. Non-phosphate related research must be funded through other sources.