The Janet Napolitano era, officially underway this week, promises action that will directly impact Arizona’s biosciences industry. Arizona’s new governor announced several specific goals throughout her campaign and since her successful election to stimulate the high-tech economy.
Stating that, “It is time to unshackle our own,” Napolitano announced at the Governor’s Technology Summit in December that she will push to lift barriers to commercializing technology created at Arizona’s universities. The state’s constitution does not allow for state universities to accept equity in private companies, as is permitted in many states. Napolitano said the prohibition curtails research and development and commercialization projects.
She also announced plans at the summit to form a high-tech advisory council to study technology and R&D issues, and to seek education reforms to provide a better-trained high-tech workforce.
During her campaign, Napolitano stressed the importance of:
- focusing on universities as centers of economic development;
- forging links between universities and business to attract venture capital;
- attracting knowledge-based workers;
- creating high-paying, high-tech jobs;
- improving the state tax code;
- enhancing university tech-transfer efforts.
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