Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund

The University of West Florida administers the Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund (IRDF) with the goal of helping businesses grow, innovate and thrive in Northwest Florida.


Pursuant to the implementation of Section 498, Chapter 2011-142, the UWF has engaged educational entities, economic development organizations, local governments and relevant state agencies to create a framework and strategy for implementing the innovative economic development program. The end result of those engagement activities is the Northwest Florida Sustainable Economic Development Initiative, central to which is the Industry Recruitment, Retention and Expansion Fund (IRREF) grant program that was successfully administered for many years.

The contemporary economic climate demonstrates once again the fragility of Northwest Florida’s economy to man-made and natural disasters, as well as the opportunities to create pathways to a more resilient regional economy. Hence, there is a strategic need to revitalize the legacy IRREF program. Building on the success of IRREF, IRDF will once again focus on building a resilient regional economy in Northwest Florida, remaining true to the intent and purpose of the original enabling legislation.

The program is open.

Program highlights:

  • $10 million in total funding is available
  • $2 million project cap per award
  • Required return on investment: $1.50 return for every dollar from the fund
  • Capital investment is required
  • Minimum creation of 10 net new jobs
  • Limited to eight counties disproportionally affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill
    (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla)

The current RFP can be found here:

IRDF Request for Proposals

All IRDF applicants are kindly asked to fill out the below form as they submit their application:

SBDC Consulting Form