The Tampa Innovation Alliance

An Innovation Community

The Alliance is a multi-jurisdictional district anchored by globally-recognized institutions who drive economic activity in the area, engaging tens of thousands of students and educators, healthcare workers and patients, and four million tourists annually. Our anchor institutions include:

  • University of South Florida
  • Busch Gardens
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Florida Hospital
  • RD Management (University Mall)

Under new leadership and with institutional support, the Alliance is poised to engage business and community as we lead revitalization and renaissance – building an engaged community recognized as an innovation destination through an inclusive effort drawing from the creative minds of our community.

Where are we?

The Tampa Innovation Alliance comprises 25,000 acres in the northern part of Tampa: bound by Busch Boulevard on the south, Bearss Avenue on the north, and interstates 75 and 275 on the east and west.  It includes parts of Tampa, Temple Terrace and unincorporated Hillsborough County.


What is our mission?

Simply put, our mission is to build a place that people want to live, work and play.

Our focus is on Transforming, Enriching & Connecting our Alliance area.

And our vision is to transform this transient area into a destination, rather than just a thoroughfare to the university, entertainment venues or hospitals. While our cross-sector anchor institutions provide economic and social structure, we recognize that the community’s essence and identity are defined by the people who live here.

So, what are we doing now?

The Alliance’s current programs include developing a Master Plan bringing together our anchor institutions, government partners and community to establish a diverse membership network; and establishing a member-driven five-year strategic plan to build an innovation district embracing the ethos of the community and empowering citizens to participate in its development through business, art and culture.

What is our history?

Created in 2011, the Tampa Innovation Alliance underwent several iterations of planning and leadership. Founding members clarified the revitalization priorities of the Alliance and appointed Mark Sharpe as Executive Director in November of 2014.

The staff includes a Director of Planning and a part-time Director of Communications/Community Engagement. USF student interns work on planning and engagement projects.

The Alliance began to actively recruit new members following the placement of its first Executive Director in November of 2014.  Within just a few short months, we are rapidly approaching 100 Alliance member organizations and individuals.


Who Is Executive Director – Mark Sharpe?

In November 2014, TIA selected then Chairman of the Hillsborough County Commission, Mark Sharpe as its first Executive Director and tasked him with building a 2-year business plan. Sharpe was elected to the Hillsborough County Commission in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Sharpe’s focus was establishing Hillsborough County as a bio-science/technology incubator. Forging the disparate interests of the city and county, Sharpe worked to transform the district into a job-creating center.


Sharpe initiated a public transit referendum emphasizing road improvements, tripling the bus fleet, and introducing light rail transforming the car-dependent area to a pedestrian/bike-friendly environment. While the referendum did not pass, it tapped the enormous potential of the TIA as a key economic area.

As Chair of the Commission, Sharpe worked with the anchor institutions to expand their presence and led the effort to fund the Moffitt Cancer – Merck bio-science collaborative in 2007.  A 2009 Battelle Institute study recognized the Alliance area as a key regional economic driver. Sharpe and the county urged the anchor institutions to leverage their resources to elevate the area by creating jobs, attracting industry and growing the tax base. This collaboration led to the creation of TIA in 2011 with the goal of revitalizing the area as an innovation district building.

Contact Mark at