Science Foundation Arizona positions its future with ASU

Effective July 1, Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz), the nation’s largest, leading-edge, public-private partnership that connects the research capabilities in Arizona’s three universities with the needs of Arizona's business and industry is positioning its future at Arizona State University.  It will remain an independent 501c3 located at SkySong and will be known as SFAz@ASU.

An advisory council composed of vice presidents of research from ASU, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University will collectively identify potential areas of research collaboration that will benefit the state as a whole. Initial areas of research will include health futures and cybersecurity.   

“Our three universities are critically important national and Arizona assets,” said Don Budinger, chairman of SFAz. “SFAz will continue to be a strong catalyst to attract resources and help lead efforts to grow their research agendas and capabilities while adding vibrancy to Arizona's economy.”

“This new alliance with SFAz represents an opportunity to continue building momentum in prominent areas of scientific research and education that strengthens Arizona as a nationally and globally competitive place,” says Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise and chief research and innovation officer at ASU and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s senior advisor for science and technology. “Bringing together some of the best researchers in the world and partnering with industry will create a dynamic that allows us to make significant economic and societal impact.”

SFAz was founded in 2006 with the aim of diversifying Arizona’s economy by connecting industry’s needs with university research while ensuring that the educational system develops a workforce fit for the 21st century.

Since 2007, SFAz has awarded more than 150 grants totaling over $110 million. These grants have led to the creation of 1,865 jobs, 207 patents filed and/or issued, the formation of 24 technology companies and 23 technology licenses.

Donald Budinger and Craig Barrett will remain as chairman and vice chairman of the board, respectively; William Harris will continue as CEO; and Rick Myers will rejoin the board and serve with Robert Mills, treasurer, and Fred Boice, secretary.