Tech Launch Arizona Offers a Critical Link for Creations | Tech Parks Arizona

Tech Launch Arizona Offers a Critical Link for Creations

Bruce Wright and David Allen


In 2013, the University of Arizona (UA) created Tech Launch Arizona to bring a vision for technology commercialization to life. The Arizona Board of Regents and UA leadership understood that technological breakthroughs - both those emanating from University laboratories as well as those being developed in the business world - address societal challenges and drive economic growth.

While innovation is a natural result of University research, how can academia contribute to developing new products and moving them into the marketplace? One of their greatest opportunities lies in leveraging world-class expertise. The UA is a leading public research university with regional roots and global impact. By tapping into the University, businesses get a direct line into a hub for learning, knowledge, creation and innovation - a place of boundless possibilities.

Technology development plays an essential role in the economic prosperity of our region, and the UA supports new technology businesses and trade opportunities to foster this growth.

Through commercialization, Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) creates social and economic impact through bringing the inventions of the UA from the lab to the world. New technology companies heading into the market move much faster with more resources at hand to help them start smarter. They have support from TLA's internal business and technology experts, its network of over 1,300 volunteer domain experts, a team of executives and entrepreneurs in residence, a robust asset development program, and its own technology research parks, Tech Parks Arizona.

Along with providing world-class office space as well as wet and dry lab space for product development, the Tech Parks has developed its Global Advantage business assistance program to provide solutions for innovators, startups and small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large multinational corporations. The program offers companies a competitive advantage through market access, product development, manufacturing assistance and business development.

This innovative partnership leverages the benefits and assets of several trusted business partners. When companies go through the Global Advantage program, they become part of an interconnected network that capitalizes on the business expertise and core competencies of each organization.

The UA also supports the Southern Arizona trade corridor through a variety of initiatives such as Innovation Frontier Southwest (IFS), a regional coalition of organizations collaborating to develop and promote advanced manufacturing capabilities in the region while growing existing opportunities. In addition, IFS is training and credentialing the workforce required to support such industry.

The UA is also linked to the state's Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, which builds on the strong economic base of Arizona. The UA plays a significant role in technology development by using the transportation system as the means of connecting Arizona to global markets, which moves the economy towards a future focused on high-value trade and investment.

When the UA opened in 1885 as a land-grant university, one of its primary roles was to help the state's population respond to the changing economic landscape created by the industrial revolution. Today, the revolution lies in the world of high-tech innovation but the University's role, albeit adapted to fit today's needs, remains consistent. Fostering new technologies, growing new business, supporting workforce development and leading organized regional economic development strategies remain - and will continue to be - core to the UA mission.


Article can be found on page 18

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