The Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute (FIPR Institute) has its origin as the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research (FIPR), which was created in 1978 as a research institute to study phosphate issues that impact Florida’s citizens, environment and economy and to be a phosphate information resource. In 2010, legislation broadened the Institute’s capabilities globally and to non-phosphate topics such as energy, and the mining and processing of minerals other than phosphate. In 2012, the FIPR Institute legislatively became part of Florida Polytechnic University.
The Institute maintains its original phosphate research program whereby scientists and engineers throughout the world may apply for FIPR Institute grants to conduct studies supporting the phosphate-related 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 phosphate research. These research grants are funded with a portion of the severance tax on phosphate rock.
These grant applications are reviewed by independent panels of experts and FIPR Institute research directors, who provide funding recommendations to the Institute’s Phosphate Research and Activities Board. 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 Phosphate Research and Activities Board consists of two phosphate industry representatives and one representative of an environmental organization all of whom are appointed by the Governor of Florida; a regulatory representative appointed by the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the President of Florida Polytechnic University.
Through its long history the Institute has gained a worldwide reputation as a leader in research and knowledge related to phosphate mining and fertilizer production activities. It has published hundreds of research reports on a myriad of topics in the field. As such, the expanded mission of the Institute leverages this expertise to offer its research capabilities globally on phosphate issues and similar issues in other industries. Those efforts not directly relating to the phosphate industry in Florida or the citizens impacted by it, however, must be funded through grants and other sources. Phosphate Research Trust Fund monies may not be used for non-phosphate research.