Nicole Gislason is the Interim Assistant Vice President of the University of West Florida Haas Center, part of UWF's Division of Research and Strategic Innovation. The center’s team supports communities with market research, workforce development and industrial innovation. The Haas Center’s information products and services are designed to inform strategic decision-making processes, enhance operational effectiveness, and improve the tactical performance of the region’s workforce. Gislason is the principal investigator on numerous contracts and grants including a grant with the state-wide FloridaMakes network. This is public-private partnership between Florida’s manufacturing sector, the State, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The MEP National Network, which operates in all 50 states, partners with organizations like the Haas Center to increase the productivity and technological performance of the region’s manufacturing firms. In just 21 months of regional operations led out of the University, FloridaMakes@UWF has achieved $118.2M in economic impact as measured by NIST. Gislason's previous large grant awards include a Department of Labor project known as Florida Hire Ed. The team operates a unique additive manufacturing laboratory, known as Sea3D. Housing state-of-the-art additive manufacturing equipment, the Sea3D lab provides a space for students, industry partners and community members to collaborate on the creation and printing of 3-D products. It also puts real-world science on display for the thousands of local K-12 students who visit the Museum of Commerce each year.
Gislason’s overall goal is to accelerate technology adoption, talent development, and business growth in an effort to drive the region’s industrial competitiveness. Her primary aptitude in higher education is an ability to communicate effectively with educators, business leaders, and government officials. This allows her to connect people who have common needs but different missions.