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Research includes work in and across multiple disciplines such as optics and lasers, modeling and simulation, materials science, energy, biomedical sciences, nanoscience, computer science, forensic science, education/distributed learning, and business operations including entrepreneurship.

The university has focused its research efforts on key areas of excellence that overlap regional and state efforts to accelerate Florida's innovation economy. Some of the institutes and centers working toward that goal include the Institute for Simulation and Training, the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers/Florida Photonics Center of Excellence, the Florida Solar Energy Center, the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis and NanoScience Technology Center, the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences.

UCF is delivering on its promise of becoming America's leading partnership university through relationships on local, national and international levels. A significant amount of the sponsored research UCF generates annually is provided by industry along Florida's High-Tech corridor from Tampa/St. Petersburg through Orlando to Daytona/Melbourne. The scholarly work of UCF's faculty and students often results in disruptive technology which in turn can result in new products for existing companies and the creation of new companies.

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