UA Center for Innovation at Oro Valley | Tech Parks Arizona

UA Center for Innovation at Oro Valley


The University of Arizona (UA) Center for Innovation in collaboration with Oro Valley Innovation Labs is ready to break ground and start building a biotech focused incubator for startup companies in Oro Valley.

The UA Center for Innovation at Oro Valley will provide space and commercialization programs for nascent life science businesses to conduct research and product development. It will offer world-class laboratories, shared equipment and a customized business development curriculum led by the UA Center for Innovation, Arizona’s longest running incubator. This new facility will fill a gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem directly related to supporting scientific research discoveries and translating them into marketable technologies.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be led by University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins and is set for the morning of September 4, 2019. Click the image on the right to register or the link below.

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About OVIL & the UA Center for Innovation in Oro Valley

Oro Valley Innovation Labs and the University of Arizona (UA) Center for Innovation formalized an agreement to build and oversee a supportive environment for life science focused startup companies in Oro Valley.  A primary focus is the development and operation of a business incubator/accelerator in Oro Valley, which Arizona has planned for occupancy in 2019.  The incubator/accelerator will occupy approximately 6,000 square feet with room for expansion. This incubator will provide space to conduct educational and training programs for translational scientists in Southern Oro_Valley_Innovation_Labs.pngArizona, i.e. those who work to convert research findings into new and useful technologies. 

New scientific advances in biomedical research often fail to reach patients because of the long and complex development process that often takes more than a decade and financial investments that can total in the billions of dollars.  For scientific advances from university research to reach the public, the scientists guiding the testing and development of these complex technologies require special training that is not often readily available to increase their likelihood of success. The long process of moving a scientific idea from the academic or industrial lab to commercial success, has many steps and requires a broad set of skills, expertise and risk.  Analysis of the current environment for product development has identified the need for a business incubator/accelerator as a critical gap (Sun Corridor Report: Securing the Lead - A comprehensive focus on diagnostic business growth in Southern Arizona, May 23, 2013).  

The new UA Center for Innovation incubator will bring value to the community and Southern Arizona, focused on the generation and success of life science technology companies by integrating the efforts of academic and anchor industry partners.

Non-profit agencies and academic programs will be co-located to increase interactions that promote the creation of successful applications for funding/investment, development of business plans, including counsel for preclinical and clinical trials, device approval and reimbursement, and manufacturing.

UA Center for Innovation at Oro Valley Amenities:

  • Offices and Labs for startups
    Conceptual Diagram of Facility
  • Fully equipped GLP compliant and CLIA-compliant laboratories
  • Informational Technology - HIPAA Compliant and Highest Level Security
  • CFR 21 Part 11 Compliant records facility for FDA-directed R&D
  • GCP-compliant biorepository
  • Regulatory consultations and advisors
  • GXP (GCP or GLP) compliant recording keeping
  • Conference Facility
  • Networking environment

Development & Production

Development and production stage companies focused on the following areas are anticipated to be located in the incubator:

  • Diagnostics
  • Biotechnology (bio-printing, nanotechnology)
  • Healthcare IT (bioinformatics, sequence analysis),
  • Therapeutics
  • Medical Devices
  • Research Diagnostic Platform Technology (Molecular pathology, sequencing, micro-fluidics). 
  • Information Technology and App Development

By providing a modern training environment for university scientists and biotechnology startup scientists to gain and share scientific, regulatory and biotech business development knowledge, advanced methods and skills in the development process for biomedical innovations, the UA Center for Innovation will improve the likelihood of success for biotechnology products and the public health.

Training Programs

The educational programs and the facilities provided will enable hands-on experience in product development during the critical early phase of product development and include direct interaction with experts who have experience in the successful development of biomedical products.The training will include programs that address the following educational needs of translational scientists:

  • How to conduct research and development for specific products in accordance with FDA-required Good Laboratory Practices standards.AZCI.png
  • How to conduct research and development for specific products in accordance with HIPAA regulations
  • How to conduct research and development for specific products in compliance with CLIA (Medicare/Medicaid) laboratory standards.
  • How to collect data according to CDISC standards for common data elements that are now required by FDA for research and development for specific products.
  • How to gain access to and utilize free, open-source software for research that meets the above standards, e.g. RedCap, i2B2, SMART, FHIR, etc.
  • How to obtain laboratory evidence of proof of concept for the medical or clinical value of a scientific observation.
  • How to define product development plans for specific products that meet FDA or CMS standards.

Board of Directors:


Chairman –Paul August, PhD (ICAGEN)
Vice Chair – Raymond Woosley, MD, PhD (AzCERT)
Treasurer - Neil Simon (Venture West)


Pete Bantock (Accelerate Diagnostics)
Kissy Black (BioConvergence Media Lab | Lotos Nile)
Garry Brav (BFL Construction)
Lawrence M. Hecker, JD (Hecker PLLC)
Sharon Hesterlee, PhD (Lion Therapeutics)
Base Horner (Desert Angels)
Mary Jacobs (Town of Oro Valley)
Thomas Koch, PhD (Roche)


Matthew Lingard, PhD (Bayer)
Fletcher McCusker (UA Ventures)
Nina Ossana, PhD (BIOSA)
David Perry (Oro Valley Chamber)
David Smallhouse (Mirimar Ventures)
Joseph Snell (Sun Corridor)
Carol Stewart (Tech Parks Arizona)
Joe Tatso, MBA (Roche)
Ken Wertman, PhD (BIOSA)




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