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    The Research & Enterprise Diamond offers Lee County an opportunity to maximize our resources to create a livable, economically diverse hub for sustainable businesses. Ideally located within a 40-square-mile area of south Lee County, businesses in the Diamond benefit from existing infrastructure in transportation, education and recreation. Resources such as the Southwest Florida International Airport, JetBlue Park and Florida Gulf Coast University establish a prime location for creating synergies among research and renewable energy, enterprise and clean economic growth.

    The university and businesses in the Diamond have a mutually beneficial relationship. As the university creates a knowledge base and workforce, business grows. As businesses grow, the university grows, creating even more business opportunities. 

    But it's not just about business. The vision for the Research & Energy Diamond includes addressing the lifestyle needs of all those new employees and students as well as the needs of those who already live and work there. That includes infill development to create more walkable, transit-oriented communities that meet Lee County's complete streets objectives and that provide convenience, sociability and excitement in addition to job opportunities.

    With this vision and the ongoing development of incentives, we have already begun attracting new, clean businesses, such as Algenol, to the area. We are applying for funding to add infrastructure to support other businesses and the type of livable community we know this area can become. Collaboration with our private partners, Southwest Florida International Airport and Florida Gulf Coast University is key to making the Research & Enterprise Diamond a success that will positively impact all of Lee County.