The Leon County Research and Development Authority (Authority) was created as a public body corporate pursuant to the enactment of 78-402, Laws of Florida, which created the Florida Research and Development Commission and provided for the creation of five-member Research and Development Authorities. The Charter of the Authority was filed with the Secretary of State on October 24, 1978. On July 1, 1979, pursuant to the enactment of 79-101 Laws of Florida, Part V of Chapter 159, Florida Statutes, was created. This amendment expanded the powers of authorities to provide for financing of projects. Section 159.75, Florida Statutes, required any authority established prior to this enactment, to reconstitute itself under the amended statute in order to be able to exercise any power to issue bonds or other debt obligations pursuant to Sections 159.74(6) and (7), Florida Statutes.

On December 16, 1980 Ordinance 80-68 was adopted by the Commission. Ordinance 80-68 confirmed the creation and existence of the Authority pursuant to Section 159.704(3), Florida Statutes. The Authority was created to promote scientific research and development, in affiliation with, and related to the research and development activities of state-based, accredited institutions of higher education, and to foster economic development and broaden of the economic base of Leon County.