Tech Launch Arizona aims to spur economy through technology transfer
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA President Eugene Sander speaks at the Arizona Board of Regents meeting in the Student Union Memorial Center on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Sander spoke about Tech Launch, a project he headed that would involve the university in technology and information transfer.
Tech Launch Arizona, headed by UA President Eugene Sander, is a hub that allows UA students and researchers to get their inventions out in the marketplace.
Sander and Len Jessup, the dean of the Eller College of Management, are spearheading the program, which will provide a more direct avenue for UA inventions to be licensed out to companies.
Tech Launch, which began in November, will promote all types of concepts, such as science and research, in addition to inventions from students within the entrepreneurship program and patents already in the process.
“We are really thrilled about this new thing called Tech Launch,” Sander said. “We want to do a better job on our part to transfer Arizona technologies and research out into the public sector.”
The program is partnered with the Eller College.
According to the 2012 U.S. News & World Report survey, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship ranked third-best among the public schools of America. Sander said he hopes to make Eller students, especially those in the entrepreneurship program, more visible to public investors.
Organizers say they hope Tech Launch will accelerate economic development in Arizona through innovations from all departments on campus.
Tech Launch updates are reported to Sander directly. A committee to oversee the program has also been formed consisting of Jessup, UA administrators and outside officials.
Sander said that, for now, Jessup is the executive director, but Tech Launch is still accepting applications for the position and are looking for someone with both science and business experience.
Leslie Tolbert, senior vice president for research at the UA, is in charge of inviting the private and public sectors to help publicize Arizona inventions.
“We do a good job publishing it, but we don’t do the best job we could to see that the good ideas make it out to practical use,” Tolbert said.
Right now, Tech Launch does not have a physical location. Jessup, Tolbert and Sander have said that their long-term goal is to construct a physical area to house Tech Launch projects.