Each year, the Flinn Foundation provides an update on the state’s Bioscience Roadmap, a collaborative plan that will continue until 2025 to make Arizona a leader in select bioscience fields.
Earlier this month, a meeting of about 100 community and bioscience leaders in northern Arizona showed that our region is continuing to make significant strides in becoming a bioscience sector leader.
Here were five takeaways from the latest sector report that I’d like to share with you.
TRIF Extension. The state has passed a 20-year extension of Proposition 301, the education sales tax that collects roughly $667 million a year for Arizona’s K-12 schools. While that figure is tremendous for the prospect of general education (and helping to create the labor pipeline needed for the biosciences to thrive statewide), the extension also includes the Technology and Research Initiative Fund or TRIF for university research and infrastructure. The Flinn Foundation notes this will bring in up to $80 million for the state’s universities, including Northern Arizona University (NAU).
NAU STEM Facility. Speaking of our local university, the Bioscience Roadmap report made special mention of NAU’s plans for a $139 million, 162,500-square-foot building dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math disciplines.
TGen North Partnership. A leading bioscience sector nonprofit, TGen North focuses on diagnostic, analytic and epidemiologic research of microbes important to medicine, public health, and biodefense. The roadmap report made special note of its partnership with C-Path in Tucson to address “antimicrobial resistance,” the ability of microbes to resist the effect of medications that once could successfully treat the microbe.
Entrepreneurship. The report noted the rise of pitch competitions and other events to encourage innovators in the biosciences to turn their ideas into viable businesses. Among the leaders in this effort is Moonshot at NACET, which is Flagstaff-based but provides Pioneer Pitch competitions throughout the state.
W.L. Gore & Associates. In addition to the continuing role Gore plays in the biosciences as a leading manufacturer of medical devices, one of its notable leaders is now helping direct the Bioscience Roadmap. Eve Ross, who led public policy and strategy initiatives at Gore until her retirement in 2017, recently became the vice chair of the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee.
These developments and more are great indicators that the biosciences are continuing their robust development in our region and statewide. You can see the full report on the bioscience sector here.