Nearly $1 billion infused into Arizona’s economy from research at Arizona’s public universities last year

2011 research report details economic impact of research at ASU, NAU and UA 

Last year, nearly $1 billion was infused into Arizona’s economy as a result of research at Arizona’s public universities, according to the recently released Arizona Board of Regents 2011 research report.  The report details research expenditures as well as the economic, social and scholarly impact that results from research in the Arizona University System, indicating a significant positive impact on the state through new jobs, knowledge and dollars reinvested in the community.

“Research leads not only to transformational discoveries that directly benefit the people of this state and beyond, but it generates jobs, facilitates partnerships, reinvests dollars into the community, attracts top faculty talent, and makes the undergraduate learning experience richer through instruction and hands-on learning with elite faculty,” said Regent Rick Myers, chair of the Arizona Board of Regents.  Research at our universities is a very complex but extremely successful enterprise and its international reputation is a point of pride for our state.”

Last year, the Board of Regents adopted a series of performance metrics to manage and measure university and system productivity and progress in four key areas, including research excellence. Research metrics measure progress in total research expenditures, number of doctoral degrees awarded, number of invention disclosures transacted, number of patents issued, intellectual property income and national public research university ranking.  In fiscal year 2011, the Arizona University System met or exceeded the research enterprise goals in invention disclosures, U.S. patents issued, intellectual property income, and start-up companies.  Research expenditures fell just short of reaching the 2011 goal of $1,009.3 billion by 1.3 percent.  The universities are implementing measures to ensure the 2012 goal of $1,045.6 billion is met.

Much of the innovation that improves people’s lives springs from university research and Arizona’s public universities are critical incubators for such innovative research and activity.  Stories of university research and its impact on the state and global community were featured in a video at the top of this post, “Exploring Challenges, Discovering Solutions,” that was presented at the Regents’ board meeting.

Increasing the research capabilities and performance of the Arizona University System to a level of competitive prominence with peer rankings of top American research universities is a significant part of the Regents’ overarching goal to contribute to the vitality of Arizona’s future.  The Enterprise Executive Committee, composed of the system and university presidents, is charged with implementing strategies to reach the research metrics by the year 2020.  Click here to link to the full news release with metric statistics as well as research stories from the universities.