ASU Research Park celebrates 40 years of collaboration, innovation

ASU Research Park waterfall sign

Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now


The Arizona State University Research Park celebrates its 40th anniversary this year as the university’s original Innovation Zone, where the university and the private sector collaborate around their knowledge assets.

In 1956, the Arizona State College Foundation acquired 320 acres of land for experimental agriculture use, laying the groundwork for what would later become the ASU Research Park at Elliot Road and Loop 101 in Tempe. The ASU Research Park was founded in 1984 and has evolved from humble farmland to a dynamic space.

“In the past four decades, the ASU Research Park has been committed to fostering strong industry relationships that will inspire the next generation of leaders and problem-solvers to continue the park’s legacy in propelling innovation and economic growth,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, who also serves as the president of ASU Research Park, Inc.

“Today, the park hosts about 50 companies employing over 3,500 people, mostly in high-wage, high-technology jobs,” Olsen said. “The ASU Research Park’s annual economic impact is over $1.4 billion.”

The university hosts industry partners at the ASU Research Park, like Amkor Technology, Applied Materials, EMD Group (formerly Versum Materials), Iridium Satellite, Viasat and more, to drive impactful research and economic development.

“Sunbelt Holdings has had the honor of being a reliable partner to the park’s development for three decades,” said Heidi Kimball, senior vice president of Sunbelt Holdings, the park’s asset manager. “We will continue to explore and promote opportunities for the park to assure its ongoing success as one of ASU’s prestigious Innovation Zones.”

The ASU Research Park has become a vital asset for cutting-edge research ranging from cancer treatment to digital communications, semiconductors and satellite technology through ASU’s visionary leadership and critical partnerships. 

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