February 10, 2017 / Modified feb 14, 2017 2:16 p.m.

Episode 124: UA Tech Park Connects Businesses from Tucson, U.S. and Overseas

Local businesses participate in effort to showcase opportunities to companies in other countries.

The University of Arizona Tech Park is a hub for technology businesses and startups and serves as a link between university research and the market. Now it's trying to sell itself as a prime location to the rest of the world.

Many businesses consider New York, Boston, Los Angeles or San Francisco when they want to make the jump to the U.S. market. But those places are not the right fit for everyone, said Naomi Weiner, the coordinator of the tech park's international recruiting effort, called Global Advantage.

So the Global Advantage program seeks to show tech companies why Tucson works as a way to connect with Northern Mexico and the U.S. West Coast. It's also a good place to manufacture tech products, with Interstate 10 and plans for a north-south corridor route between the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.

Those are some of the reasons four companies are expanding their work to include Tucson. This month the tech park announced Israeli company Chacratech, Mexican company ProAutomation, Ohio company Cleveland Electric Labs and Michigan company PowerPanel are moving some of their operations to Tucson.

Find out more in this episode of Metro Week with these stories:

  • Naomi Weiner further explains the Global Advantage program.

  • Hear from Rodger Shepherd of Cleveland Electric Labs about why the company came to Tucson, and its plans to begin manufacturing fiber-optic security systems here.

  • Then, Justin Dutram of the tech park explains how he works with companies in Mexico to form a relationship and attract them to Tucson.

  • ProAutomation's CEO Daniel Beltran and Mark Marchand, director of operations, explain the decision to bring the Hermosillo, Sonora-based company to Tucson.

  • Bruce Wright explains the scope of Tech Parks Arizona work, and the companies that rent space there.

  • Meet Mary Darling, CEO of Darling Geomatics, which produces precise 3-D scans of spaces such as buildings, rooms and mines. These are used in place of 2-D blueprints to help specify dimensions for construction, re-creation or insurance.

  • Go to the Solar Zone of the tech park and hear about the research happening on acres and acres of photovoltaic cells. Richard Powell of the tech park explains the site, and Carmine Tilghman, the senior director of energy supply for Tucson Electric Power tells how working with the park has helped it stand out among its peers for knowledge in alternative energy.

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