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Elevating Arizona's Business Climate

Tuesday, June 30, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SFAz
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Arizona's Advantage - No. 2

Elevating Arizona's Business Climate
What's Happening Now

According to IBM Senior Vice President and Director of Research John Kelly, optimum business climates for IBM's new projects offer extensive collaboration among academia, industry, partners and government. "To be frank, this kind of collaboration is amustwhen deciding where to make new investments," said Kelly.


Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is the asset Arizona already has in place to draw investment to the state using the public-private matchmaking model Kelly describes. Each investment made by SFAz on behalf of Arizona since 2007 has netted significant gains and the State has the opportunity to aggressively leverage this proven model to convince the IBM's of the world to make their next major investments here.

Arizona's Opportunity

The UofA mining program and C-Path are two high-net examples of SFAz applying the collaborative formula Kelly references with notable gain for Arizona.

Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources - University of Arizona

Copper remains a strategic asset for our state -- home building, clean energy: wind, solar and nuclear power, even electric cars all require copper. So when the 124-year-old mining program at UofA declined to the point of nearly disappearing, SFAz awarded a $7.8 million grant and assembled matching funds from 15 industry partners, federal support and an endowment from David and Edith Lowell, which revitalized the mining program. The resulting Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources is among the top interdisciplinary mineral resources research centers in the world. Five spin-off companies have been created and are developing new sustainable mining technologies for the global industry. The Institute is growing relationships with China, Mexico, Australia and Canada, and strong community engagement reaches more than 8,000 Arizona students and teachers in their classrooms every year.



SFAz awarded $13.1 million in research grants to the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) in Tucson, which speeds the process of getting drugs through regulatory review and to market. SFAz's investment spawned additional funding, taking C-Path from early-stage start up to a fully operating entity. C-Pathnowmanages eight global consortia of over 1,300 scientists from government regulatory and research agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. C-Path is highly esteemed of its academia and industry partners too, including UofA, ASU, Johns Hopkins, Emory University, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly.


According to former National Governors Association Division Director Mary Jo Waits,statesemploying intermediary organizations to drive strong ties among universities, companies and entrepreneurs are gaining strategic competitive advantages. "The NGA now recommends intermediaries as a best practice....Arizona has one of the best possible intermediary models in the nation - Science Foundation Arizona," said Waits.


The public-private collaborative winning formula IBM's John Kelly cites has proven successful for SFAz-led initiatives. Broadly employed as a best practice by Arizona, SFAz can elevate our state's business climate in the eyes of companies seeking a home for their next major investment, benefiting all Arizonans.

The UofA mining program grew from 3 faculty and 19 students pre-SFAz grant to 27 departments in 10 colleges by 2012.

Undergrad mining engineering students earn starting salaries of $70k - $100k; PhD's start from $85k to $140k.

More than 1,200 industry professionals from 80 companies in 27 countries have taken continuing education courses from the Lowell Institute.

Since 2010, C-Path has attracted more than $40 million in industry and philanthropic funding, more than tripling the original SFAz grant investment.

SFAz is working to create a more globally competitive Arizona.Download the
7-Year Impact Report.


Arizona's Advantage: No. 1


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