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Future of Technology - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

The Future of Technology In Arizona: Where Do We Go From Here?

The future of technology: Science and engineering turned Arizona’s first 100 years upside down, so where do we go from here?


Think about the achievements in technology that came during Arizona’s first 100 years.

  • The first transcontinental telephone service between New York and San Francisco (1915).
  • The world’s first radio broadcasting station goes on the air  (1920).
  • Television has its first successful demonstration in the United States (1927).
  • James Watson and Francis Crick at Cambridge University describe the structure of the DNA molecule (1953).
  • The microchip is invented (1959).
  • The first test-tube baby is born (1978).
  • IBM introduces its first personal computer (1981).
  • Cellular telephones are introduced to consumers (1982).
  • Development of the World Wide Web begins (1989).
  • Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell (1996).
  • Apple introduces the iPod (2001).
  • Facebook is launched (2004).
  • Scientists discover how to use human skin cells to create embryonic stem cells (2007).

They are all innovations that have changes the way we lives our lives and do business.

Where will technology take us as Arizona enters its second century? How will it affect our lives? Here are technologies and scenarios that some of Arizona’s best and brightest minds see playing out in the state’s next 100 years.


The Future of Technology In Arizona


Future of TechnologyMark Bonsall
General manager and CEO
SRP

If I had to pick one technology with the potential to truly revolutionize the industry it would be finding affordable ways to store energy on a very large scale.  This would increase the value of intermittent renewable resources like wind and solar and could transform electricity into a more common commodity.  It isn’t clear that this is possible, but with the growing focus on electric vehicles and other storage technologies, it is certain there will be significant gains over the next century.


Future of TechnologyMark Edwards
Vice president of corporate development and marketing
Algae Biosciences, Inc.

Algae-based food, fiber, feed, fertilizer, fuels, and advanced medicines will transform those industries, as we know them today. The current serious problems of waste and pollution will be solved with sustainable algae-based production that recycles and reuses nutrients, water, and energy while regenerating air, water and soils. Our children’s children will have sufficient natural resources to produce the food, energy and transportation they will need.

Algae Biosciences is Scottsdale-based and focused on discovering and unlocking the powers of algae to resolve critical human issues – nutrition, health, energy and environment.


Future of TechnologySteve Sanghi
President and CEO
Microchip Technology Inc.

If I had to pick one (technology that will have biggest impact on Arizona’s next 100 years) it would be the renewable-energy complex of technologies. For Arizona, the primary renewable-energy opportunities can be broken into three categories—measurement, conservation and harvesting.  The world’s oil supply will eventually run out, and Arizona has more days of sun than most areas.  We must continue working to tap into this ever-present energy source.  At the same time, we must focus on developing the technologies that will enable individuals and companies to both measure and conserve their energy usage.  For example, Arizona has the potential to play a key role in developing the technologies that will be employed at the home, industrial and utility levels to make the burgeoning “smart grid” work.


Future of TechnologyJohn Lefebvre
President
Suntech America

The amount of energy generated through renewable sources like solar power has the potential to surpass that derived from fossil fuels in the next 50 years. We’ve already seen remarkable technological innovations in the solar field to increase efficiency, develop solutions for energy storage, and further reduce costs, with further improvements on the horizon. With over 300 days of sunshine, Arizona is naturally poised to take advantage of these advancements and its abundant resource by generating clean electricity without carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.


Future of TechnologyDiane Brossart
President
Valley Forward Association

The biggest issues facing Arizona over the next 100 years are managing a finite water supply and transitioning to a clean energy economy. Green technology and innovation will create economic and environmentally sound solutions, making Arizona the leading destination for living wisely and sustainably in a desert.

Valley Forward Association promotes cooperative efforts to improve the environment and livability of Valley communities.


Future of TechnologyKelly Mott Lacroix
Graduate research associate
Water Resources Research Center in Tucson

We do not have a silver bullet to solve our water supply and demand challenges The state and its water issues are too diverse.  Rather, there are many smaller pieces from the simple and small scale, such as rainwater harvesting, to the large and complex, such as increased reclaimed water use, that when taken together will constitute a solution.


Future of TechnologyBill Hubert
President and founder
Cology, Inc.

Universal, personal-application based technology in general, and highly-sophisticated, profile-driven applications that help consumers (students and parents in our industry) not only gain access to a broader spectrum of programs and services available – but an interactive relationship with providers that will help both sides of the “economic equation” benefit from the transaction.

Scottsdale-based Cology, Inc. is a leading provider of end-to-end private student loan origination and repayment servicing solutions for lenders.


Future of TechnologyCR Herro
Vice president of environmental affairs
Meritage Homes

In the next century, climate will take the lead role in transforming Arizona and its buildings into energy-producing solar collectors. Arizona has the ability to become the largest producer of renewable, clean energy nationwide. In residential construction, that has already started.  The first cost-effective solar communities debuted in Arizona. Meritage Homes introduced the nation’s first net-zero homes in Arizona, saving owners both energy and money. And Arizona utilities lead the country in sponsoring energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.  Arizona is shaping up to be a state powered by the sun in every way imaginable.


Future of TechnologyCatherine Niemiec
President
Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture, College & Clinic

Technology will be used to not only focus on the tiny gene, but to see the bigger picture of the bio-energetic field of the body. Not unlike what you would see in a Star Trek movie, technology would be used to assess and heal both the body and mind, taking into account the bio-electric system. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been focused on individualized medicine for thousands of years, with each treatment and formula specifically adapted to an individual, changing as the person changes and moves toward health. Thus, this dynamic medicine is the forefather of modern “individualized medicine” and can work well to make modern biotechnology more effective.


Future of TechnologyDanny Murphy
Airport director
Sky Harbor International Airport

With the explosion of mobile devices, coupled with high speed wireless networks, there is a new generation that will live their lives on mobile technology, using smartphones, touchpads and other mobile devices.
In the past we used to print so many information pieces about the airport. And while we still provide printed materials to an extent, our focus is on providing information via the web and for mobile units.


Future of TechnologyDr. Grace Caputo
Director
Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center Pediatric Residency

Moving to a system where we utilize electronic medical records will really give us the ability to shape and improve health care across the board. Pediatric healthcare will be heavily impacted as we have just started to unravel genetic bases diseases. In the future, we hope to understand the genetic process of diseases so we can treat them and ultimately prevent diseases with wellness and lifestyle changes.


Future of TechnologyCatherine Anaya
Anchor
CBS 5 News

I think the internet technology we currently use to help in our news gathering will become a bigger factor in how we do things. Smart phones  (or whatever replaces them in the next 100 years) will replace cameras and studios creating more intimacy and accessibility. That accessibility will make it much easier to hold those in power more accountable for their actions which I hope will have a positive impact on how the state’s laws are created, shaped and enforced.


Future of TechnologyMahesh Seetharam, M.D.
Medical oncologist and hematologist
Arizona Oncology

Personalized medicine through whole genome sequencing (genomics), proteomics and noninvasive imaging will pave the way for the future.  Current research to evaluate for circulating cancer cells, and evaluation for cancer in urine samples are already being studied, and holds promise for the future.


Kenneth J. Biehl, M.D.
Radiation oncologist
Arizona Oncology

Immensely precise and conformal radiation treatments in the form of stereotactic radiation, high dose-rate radiation and molecularly targeted radiation will allow radiation oncologists surgical precision in assisting the people of Arizona to improve cancer cure and control. Just as the technological advances in the past have allowed women diagnosed with breast cancer to pursue breast conservation therapy rather than mastectomy, and have allowed men to preserve erectile function with prostate cancer, future advances will allow more Arizonans diagnosed with cancer to enjoy a better quality of life along with improved cure rates.


Michael Crow
President
Arizona State University

The biggest single technology to impact the future of Arizona will be individualized learning technologies that allow individuals to master subjects in ways customized to their particular types of intelligence and learning modalities.  This technology will allow people to learn more quickly and more deeply and more broadly. Those places, hopefully like Arizona, that enable and empower this kind of learning will see tremendous positive impacts from this technological development.


Where to invest in technology

Patricia Ternes, a financial advisor with RBC Wealth Management in Scottsdale says these are the four technology sectors to invest in going into Arizona’s next century:

1. Water 
Growing imbalances in global water supply and demand are well documented. Within that heading, the companies involved with water fall into four categories: (1) activities and technologies that increase supply; (2) the building of the necessary water structure; (3) processes that help reduce demand; and (4) water management.

2. Agriculture
When you look at the growth of the world’s population companies that are involved in agriculture and food production will continue to be attractive and important.

3. Health
Another important sector will be health care services and life sciences tools and services that provide better quality of life for the aging population.

4. The unknown
The fourth sector doesn’t exist yet.  Advances are happening so fast that something new will be created that will change our lives.


Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012