Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® to Celebrate 2021 Awards

Research Park at FAU

(Photo by Alex Dolce)

By brittany sylvestri | 8/30/2021

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University ® recently named the recipients of its 2021 Research Park Distinguished Awards. The awards celebration will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. outside at The Addison, 2 East Camino Real, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $135 per person.

The annual awards recognize distinguished contributions to the Research Park at FAU’s mission to promote scientific research and development in affiliation with FAU, to foster economic development and broaden the economic base of Palm Beach and Broward counties. 

“The Research Park at FAU Awards highlight the work of our stakeholders to make the South Florida region more innovative and competitive in the knowledge economy and this year’s recipients exemplify the mission of the Research Park at FAU, each one is innovating and bringing new forces to bear which enrich our region,” said Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at FAU.

The award recipients for 2021 are:

Distinguished Entrepreneur: Peter Harris, chief executive officer of FloSpine, has been part of the Research Park at FAU community since his days as an engineer with U.S. Spine, which was created in its incubator and then bought out. Harris stayed in Boca Raton and soon created FloSpine, seeing a need for innovative medical devices to treat serious spinal injuries and deformities using lightweight materials that would improve health outcomes. FloSpine now has three U.S. patents and is continuing its growth, adding new surgeons and hospitals regularly. Harris has worked with several units at FAU, including the Schmidt College of Medicine and the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Sixty percent of FloSpine’s employees are FAU graduates. 

Distinguished Researcher: Dimitris Pados, Ph.D., has several patents pending and interesting corporate interactions that will leverage patents. Pados is a faculty member in FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and is a Charles E. Schmidt Eminent Scholar. His current research is focused on autonomous systems and artificial intelligence, areas that are of increasing focus to many Research Park at FAU companies.

Distinguished Organization: Baptist Health South Florida has led the community’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, helping people recover from the disease and educating the community on healthy best practices and enabling people to get back to work safely, which is of fundamental importance to our economic recovery.

Distinguished Leader: John Kelly, Ph.D. is the seventh president of Florida Atlantic University, and has positioned the University to join the top 100 universities in the United States through his relentless focus on enriching the student experience and elevating the research enterprise of the University. Under President Kelly’s leadership, the University’s research expenditures have doubled, a record number of National Merit Scholars have enrolled and, for the first time in its history, FAU was ranked among the nation’s top public universities by U.S. News & World Report, landing at No. 140. In 2021, FAU moved up four spots to No. 136.

To purchase tickets to attend the event, click here. For more information about the Research Park at FAU, visit