Sky’s the Limit for High Tech in the Grand Canyon State

November 24, 2008

By hammersmith

[Source: Jenny Vickers,] – Arizona’s tech sector is heating up the sun-kissed state due to a number of unique university programs and government economic development initiatives, as well as a growing biotech hub.

Businesses interested in expanding and relocating to Arizona will find one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation, a skilled, knowledge-based workforce, and a competitive business climate and tax structure. Phoenix, the state’s capital, is now the fifth most populated city in the country.


Population (2006): 6,166,318Largest Cities (2005): Phoenix, 1,461,575; Tucson, 515,526; Mesa, 442,780; Glendale 239,435Targeted Industries: Biotech, environmental technology, food, fiber and natural products, optics, advanced composites, metal fabrication, transportation and distribution, software Key Incentives: Commerce and Economic Development Commission grants; R&D Tax Credit Program; Enterprise Zones; Governor’s Strategic Plan for Economic Development; Arizona Technology Incubator; Small Business Innovative Research Loans

The Grand Canyon State is well known for its technology-related industry specializing in semiconductors, aerospace and defense, navigation and controls, and business information services. One of the largest portion’s of the state’s high-tech industry is semiconductor manufacturing, which produces chips for a myriad of consumer electronic products such as MP3 players, cell phones, and computers.

The industry was recently enhanced when ASIC North, a Vermont-based semiconductor design company, announced plans to expand its operations to Tempe in September, creating 25 new jobs with an annual payroll of $1.75 million. Its location in Tempe puts the company in close proximity to other major semiconductor producers such as Intel, Freescale, Microchip Technology and ON Semiconductor.

After looking at many locations, including the Pacific Northwest, North Carolina and Austin, TX, ASIC North selected metro Phoenix because of its large semiconductor industry, good transportation and proximity to Silicon Valley, where many of the firm’s customers are located.

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