Governor Jan Brewer attended the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for new facilities at the Arizona Center for Innovation (AzCI), on Wednesday.
Located at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park, AzCI is a major high-tech business incubator that assists in bringing new technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace, boosting southern Arizona's economy and accelerating the State's progress toward global competitiveness.
"The Arizona Center for Innovation is part of the engine that will power us into Arizona's second century," said Brewer. "This is an investment that will bring novel technologies to the marketplace, create high-wage jobs and expand and diversify the economy of southern Arizona."
Founded in 2003, the Arizona Center for Innovation has steadily expanded its offerings over the last decade. In 2010, Governor Brewer awarded AzCI a $1.5 million state grant that enabled the new office and laboratory facilities dedicated today.
AzCI now occupies 18,000 square feet that includes a video conference room, offices with computers and Internet and a library, as well as both wet and dry labs with the latest research equipment. Much of AzCI's business assistance programs are provided electronically, meaning clients have 24/7 access to its workshops, video tutorials and interactive website.
"Business incubation programs like AzCI catalyze entrepreneurs for success," said Joann MacMaster, Director of the Arizona Center for Innovation. "AzCI thought about the needs of its clients and compiled a remarkable platform for innovators at any stage."
While in Tucson today, Governor Brewer also toured and met with staff of Bombardier. The aerospace and rail manufacturer has operated in Tucson for 35 years and employs more than 700 people. The Governor visited Bombardier's service center four months ago to announce the company's plans to expand operations in Tucson.
"Bombardier has been a strong asset to job creation in Arizona for decades," said Governor Brewer. "Forward-thinking companies like Bombardier and business incubators like the Center for Innovation are critical to Arizona diversifying its economy and competing on a global stage."