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ASU units set tone for SkySong


September 13, 2005

As the ASU-Scottsdale Center for New Technology and Innovation – SkySong – takes shape, ASU will be one of the key tenants.

A variety of units that fall into three clusters – entrepreunerial support and development, interdisciplinary research programs in engineering-related fields and education technology – will be among the first to move to SkySong, or expand their facilities in Scottsdale, occupying 80,000 square feet initially.

Those units will include:

• The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative.

• ASU Technopolis.

• Technology-Based Learning and Research (TBLR).

• The Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (CRESMET).

• Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling (PRISM).

• Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE).

• InnovationSpace.

• Arts, Media and Engineering (AME).

• Embedded Systems, Center for Ubiquitous Computing (CUBiC).

• Cognitive Informatics.

• Enterprise Computing.

• Biomedical Informatics (BMI).

Representatives of those units are excited about the synergy and opportunity to work with other disciplines they will find at SkySong.

Terree P. Wasley, director of entrepreneurial services for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs, foresees that there will be an exciting mix of “connectivity, excitement and interaction” at SkySong when it opens in fall 2007.

Wasley oversees the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, which helps students explore their ideas for new business products and services, and ASU Technopolis, which offers coaching, education and connections for ASU students and faculty, as well as entrepreneurs throughout the region and state.

Paul Skiera, director of TBLR, which works closely with the Fulton College of Education, anticipates a “wonderful synergy,” as well as easier access for visitors and clients.

He and his staff now are housed at the Community Services Building , and they believe their clients – public-school teachers – will have easier access to TBLR at SkySong.

TBLR, which was founded by Gary Bitter, focuses on education research and the development of large-scale delivery of education materials, such as education video games.

“For the last several years, we have been concentrating on professional development for teachers,” Skiera says. “We have developed mathematics and a technology-integration video library for teachers to review classroom video teaching experiences via the Internet through streaming video.

“At SkySong, TBLR will work on integrating entertainment theory and cutting-edge media technologies in education to facilitate math and science learning, and to enhance the enjoyment of art and filmmaking classes.”

Marilyn Carlson, director of CRESMET, is looking forward to having state-of-the-art facilities and equipment at SkySong.

“We will have more technology for instruction and research, and better facilities to capture the data we need to capture, and we will be able to produce professional-quality videos to bring state-of-the-art knowledge to teachers,” Carlson says.

CRESMET staff members are developing mathematics and science graduate courses for delivery at school sites. They also are helping teachers learn to better teach math and science, among many other projects.

Dan Collins, a co-director of the PRISM Lab, says being at SkySong will help PRISM “engage a different community of players and will be in a more strategic position to collaborate with industry.”

The PRISM Lab, which is ASU's premiere facility for pursuing interdisciplinary research in three-dimensional data capture, modeling, visualization, archiving and rapid prototyping, will retain its home in the Brickyard, but have additional space in SkySong.

Collins foresees PRISM SkySong as a center for industry to display its latest technology.

“It will be a high-profile venue,” he says.

With these varied investments at the opening of SkySong, ASU expects to set the tone for the Valley as a global portal for people and firms committed to innovative approaches to business and technology development.

Judith Smith, jps@asu.edu (480) 965-4821