The city of Tucson, University of Arizona and a technology development company called Aztera formed a Commercialization Network Alliance to help innovative research ideas become marketable products.
“It’s basically creating a network of resources and individuals necessary to help that entrepreneur, that visionary, that person who has the expertise in one particular area who may have all the knowledge in the world to create that but don’t know how to convert it into a business,” said Andrew Squire, an economic development specialist for the city’s Office of Economic Development.
The idea spawned with the city wanting to help Tech Launch Arizona, a University of program that connects UA research with the business community in Tucson, he said.
David Allen, vice president for TLA, wanted to do something more than just receiving a $100,000 check from the city, according to Squire.
The city of Tucson will organize and supervise the contracts, while TLA continues to build a bond between researchers and the business community, he said. Aztera will help with the product development side and the city’s Office of Economic Development will provide tools for business starters.
Squire said the Commercialization Network Alliance will help the city achieve its economic goals of creating jobs and new industries in Tucson, as well as keeping young people in the local workforce after they graduate from college.
Yoohyun Jung is a University of Arizona journalism student and apprentice at Arizona Public Media.