In 1997, Arizona Governor Jane D. Hull established a statewide focus on the state’s bioscience cluster. Now,20 years later, Arizonans and visitors from across the United States are coming together during Arizona Bioscience Week to exchange ideas, celebrate success and gain a glimpse of even greater opportunities for innovation in the future.
Over this 20-year span, Arizona has gained a reputation as the state with the “collaborative gene” and attracts thought leaders looking to discover, develop, and deliver life-changing and life-saving innovations to patients.
By conservative estimates, over $18 billion has been invested in the bioscience and healthcare sector by public and private sources over the last two decades. The results include new business starts, business expansions, IPOs, and multi-billion-dollar acquisitions by global companies who chose to stay and grow in the state. The most recent numbers (TEConomy 2016) show that Arizona is now home to over 1,400 life science firms. New or expanded research facilities house teams that are working on solutions to address some of the world’s greatest heath challenges including Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases cancer, and heart disease. Arizona’s network of world-class hospitals grew as local systems expanded and new organizations entered the market. Today, Arizona is home to top-tier research facilities, world-class centers for patient care, and universities that lead in research while training the bioscience leaders of tomorrow.
More investment on the way
In 2017, Governor Douglas A. Ducey signed a landmark $1 billion investment plan supporting Arizona higher education. The legislation enables approximately $1 billion in new investments to be directed toward research and development infrastructure at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University.
Great ideas can grow into great companies. To move forward faster, early stage companies often need the support of Angel Investors, who provide outside capital for business start-ups. Arizona raised the cap on its successful Angel Investor Tax Credit program by an additional $10 million, which authorizes $2.5 million a year in tax credits for the next four years. The Angel Investor program was initially approved in 2006 with a $20 million cap, which was met in July 2015. Over that period, the 125 small businesses that used the tax credit received approximately $62 million in certified investments.
In addition, the Arizona Innovation Challenge competition awards $3 million in grants annually to help. The competitively awarded program is administered by the Arizona Commerce Authority and is designed to help young companies commercialize their technologies and scale their businesses.
Arizona Bioscience Week 2017 (AZBW 2017)
A 2017 Senate Proclamation recognized the accomplishments of the state’s growing bioscience sector and closes with an invitation to the people of Arizona to learn more about the state’s life science industry. Its closing words read…
“That the Members of the Arizona Senate proclaim October 8 through 14, 2017 as Arizona Bioscience Week and encourage all citizens to learn more about how their fellow Arizonans are working to discover, develop and deliver the life-changing and life-saving innovations that will benefit the people of Arizona today and for generations to come.”
Arizona Bioscience Week 2017 includes a series of gatherings, workshops, and events that make it possible for the people of Arizona to connect with life science leaders, celebrate accomplishments, and build new relationships that will drive further progress.
AZBio Awards and the Life Science Fiesta
The AZBio Awards ceremony on Oct. 11, 2017 at the Phoenix Convention Center celebrates Arizona’s leaders, educators, researchers, and innovator companies. Attendees will be introduced to bioindustry leaders from across the state of Arizona who are illustrative of the depth, breadth and expertise of its bioscience industry. Following the awards ceremony, the community will celebrate life changing innovation together at the Life Science Fiesta which includes:
• Displays by Arizona life science companies and patient advocacy organizations;
• Research poster presentations prepared by over 60 students from Arizona High Schools and Universities;
• Opportunities to connect with members of the Arizona Legislature, leaders of Arizona cities and towns, and staff from Arizona’s Congressional offices; and
• Networking with life science leaders while enjoying Arizona themed food, music and dancing.
Educational Events and National Conferences
In addition to the AZBio Awards, AZBW 2017 includes multiple educational events focused on the value of life science innovation will take place from October 8, 2017 to October 14, 2017 including the BMES Annual Meeting in Phoenix. The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) is the world’s leading society of professionals devoted to developing and using engineering and technology to advance human health and well-being. Attendees at BMES 2017 in Phoenix are expected to include nearly 4,000 professional scientists, engineers, researchers and students from academia and industry who are leaders in biomedical engineering.
Experts in intellectual property will offer insights at the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation on the GateWay Community College campus while thought leaders from across the country will offer daily lectures at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.
The full schedule of AZBW events can be viewed at https://www.azbio.org/azbw2017.
AZBW is about celebrating our past and embracing our future
Arizona’s leaders are continuing the journey to take the state into the top tiers of the bioscience rankings and are already discussing what Arizona’s next strategic steps and investments will be.
“The life science innovations being discovered, developed and delivered by Arizonans are something we can all be proud of,” stated AZBio president & CEO Joan Koerber-Walker. “Thanks to the combined commitments and efforts of our elected leaders, life science researchers, educators, investors, healthcare systems, and industry partners, we are able to make life better here at home and around the world. Arizona Bioscience Week is our opportunity to share the good news with our friends and neighbors, with co-workers, and with current and future partners who share our passion for making life better and are ready to work with us to make it happen.”
For more information on Arizona Bioscience Week, visit www.AZBio.org/AzBW2017
For more information on the AZBio Awards, go to www.azbioawards.com