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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.

'UWF boosts economic development in Northwest Florida through Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund program'

Read about the latest details of the Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund here, UWF Newsroom.


'UWF to distribute $10 million in funding to businesses creating jobs in Northwest Florida'

Read about the details of the Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund here, UWF Newsroom.


Pursuant to the implementation of Section 498, Chapter 2011-142, 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, the Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund (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 Request for Proposals (RFP) can be found here:

IRDF Request for Proposals

All Industry Resilience and Diversification Fund (IRDF) applicants are kindly asked to fill out the below form as they submit their application:

SBDC Request for Consulting Form

A list of Targeted Industries can be found here:

Targeted Industries

Those interested in applying for an IRDF grant are asked to contact their local economic development organization to begin the consultation and application process. Consult the map below to find your economic development organization. A list of participating economic development organizations is below.

Economic Development Organizations (PDF)

Note: This is an approximation of the IRDF application process flow; however, ALL potential applicants begin with Step One.

Step One:

Applicant contacts local economic point of contact (POC) to discuss the project

Step Two:

Economic development POC contacts UWF to discuss the project

Step Three:

If needed, the applicant and economic development POC contact UWF to discuss the project further

Step Four:

Upon recommendation from economic development POC and UWF, the company submits an application to UWF for review

Step Five:

UWF reviews application

Step Six:

If needed, UWF sends comments and requests for further information to economic development POC, which sends back to the applicant

Step Seven:

Applicant sends additional information and supporting documentation to UWF for further review

Step Eight:

UWF reviews revised application

Step Nine:

UWF contacts applicant and economic development POC for final determination


Economic Development Organizations (PDF)


Economic Development Organizations (PDF)


Escambia County

FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance

Scott Luth

Santa Rosa County

Santa Rosa Economic Development Organization

Shannon Ogletree

Okaloosa County

One Okaloosa Economic Development Council

Nathan Sparks

South Walton County

Walton County Economic Development Alliance

Bill Imfeld

Bay County

Bay County Economic Development Alliance

Becca Hardin

North Walton, Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla Counties

Opportunity Florida

Roy Baker