ASU lauded for entrepreneurship, economic growth

August 19, 2014

Arizona State University is among 12 universities recognized for their accomplishments “as creators of intellectual capital and economic growth” in a recent book-length report on the nexus between university innovation and economic development.

The report, Innovation U 2.0: Reinventing University Roles in a Knowledge Economy, cites a wide range of ASU entrepreneurship activities begun or accelerated under ASU President Michael Crow. It then zeroes in on the innovative approach to technology commercialization practiced by Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization. algae tubes Download Full Image

“Having a robust, productive and entrepreneurial technology transfer function at Arizona State has been a high priority," the report says. "The overall philosophy of the office seems to be less focused on maximizing value to the university, and more on rapid dissemination of ASU inventions and discoveries into the market."

“In fact, the formation and procedures of AzTE, as opposed to the prior organization and procedures of the technology transfer function, have yielded significant increases in disclosures, licenses/options, startups and patents," the report continues. "ASU is doing very well in technology transfer performance.”

The numbers back up the report. ASU, through the activities of AzTE, is annually one of the top-performing U.S. universities in terms of intellectual property inputs (inventions disclosed by ASU researchers) and outputs (licensing deals and startups) relative to the size of the university's research enterprise.

In fiscal year 2014, ASU faculty working with AzTE set new record highs in invention disclosures (261), U.S.-issued patents (56), startups (12) and licenses and options (90). Overall, venture development activities have led to the formation and assistance of more than 70 companies based on ASU discoveries. Start-up companies and sub-licensees that have licensed ASU IP have attracted over $450 million in funding from venture capital firms and other investors, with much of this financing achieved during the last several years.

Charlie Lewis, AzTE’s vice president for venture development, spoke about ASU’s innovative technology commercialization model last week in a panel discussion at the Innovation Arizona Summit in Scottsdale.

“Under President Crow’s vision for the New American University, tech transfer is a critical mechanism for achieving societal impact from the dissemination of knowledge created by university faculty, researchers and students,” said Lewis. “AzTE has had great success for the decade we’ve operated under our new model, but we’re also not standing still. We recently upgraded our technology marketing process to target a broader range of potential licensees, including more small and medium-sized companies that have demonstrated a willingness to take on – and fund – risky, early-stage offerings.”

The Innovation Arizona Summit was a joint effort between the Arizona SciTech Festival, the MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix and the Arizona Commerce Authority. More than 900 attendees from business, education, government and the community gathered to discuss areas of collaboration to advance Arizona’s innovation ecosystem.

Derek Sarley,
Arizona Technology Enterprises

Director, Knowledge Enterprise Development


Neighborhood welcome walks provide resources, encourage communication

August 19, 2014

With the new school year beginning and students returning to campus, Arizona State University has partnered with the Tempe Police Department and the City of Tempe to welcome back returning students and provide resources to residents of the Tempe campus’ surrounding neighborhoods.

For the first time, representatives from each organization kicked off a three-day campaign Aug. 18, called Welcome Back Walks, aimed at proactively engaging residents and students by going door-to-door in several neighborhoods to provide resources and information to improve public safety and the well-being of the community. ASU, Tempe Police visiting with Tempe resident Download Full Image

"This is the first opportunity we’ve had for ASU and the City of Tempe to work together to let the community know we care about them,” says Kevin Cook, ASU dean of students for Tempe, who participated in the walks. “A successful community ensures successful students, and vice versa; one feeds the other.”

Monday’s walks began in Tempe’s Daley Park neighborhood, where undergraduate student body president Cass Possehl joined in to help represent her university to local residents. Possehl saw the Welcome Back Walks as a great way to “open the lines of communication” between students and the community that surrounds them.

“When they told me about the project, I thought, ‘What a neat thing to be a part of, to try to get a relationship off on such a positive note,’” Possehl says.

Many residents of the Daley Park neighborhood were happy to see the ASU and Tempe police departments as well as university staff and students working together to engage the community. One resident, a retired professor, says he had students living on either side of him and was always impressed with the efforts of police in the community. Another said he and his family had lived in the neighborhood for a couple years and really enjoyed it – “The students are great,” he says.

ASU Police Sergeant Dan Macias said it’s important that students feel they are part of the community, and that they feel a sense of responsibility to that end.

“Looking forward to the school year, we hope that we can make a really good environment for the students to be successful, and for the community members to have positive relationships with the university,” Macias said.

The Welcome Back Walks provide an opportunity for Tempe residents and students to positively interact with student leaders, City of Tempe and ASU officials, and Tempe and ASU police officers. Campus support services for off-campus students information is provided and potential issues, such as how to entertain guests while being respectful of neighbors, is stressed. Neighbors are also given information on where to seek support if problems arise.

The daily Welcome Back Walks continue through Wednesday, Aug. 20 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Emma Greguska

Editor, ASU News

(480) 965-9657