Partnership for Economic Innovation to Host Arizona’s 2022 State of Innovation Summit

Partnership for Economic Innovation to Host Arizona’s 2022 State of Innovation Summit

Business leaders, technology innovators, educators and legislators discuss future of Arizona’s economy

Partnership for Economic Innovation (PEI), a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities, is hosting its second annual State of Innovation Summit to showcase the progress made in advancing Arizona’s economy through industry-led applied research and innovation partnerships. The free event will be held virtually on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. Attendees may register at

“Applied research solves the needs of companies working at the forefront of emerging technology development, helping their innovations get to market sooner,” said Dean Duncan, Executive Director of PEI. “PEI established the applied research centers to demonstrate how the acceleration model works—and we are already seeing returns as our wearable solutions reach clinical validation, AZ BARC is bringing global players to the region, and Arizona’s universities have put forth the plans to scale talent development around these future industries.”

At the State of Innovation Summit, PEI will showcase some of its most promising projects from the WearTech Applied Research Center and Blockchain Applied Research Center (AZ BARC), which are working to transform healthcare and security locally and globally. According to recent impact study from Rounds Consulting Group, PEI’s Applied Research Centers are projected to generate more than $83 million in labor income and more than $350 million in economic output over the next 10 years, with the $5 million initial funding generating a positive return on investment for Arizona taxpayers within just two years.

Representatives from Arizona State University will join the Summit for the second year to discuss how students and faculty are taking research from lab to market through Science and Technology Centers, part of ASU’s core objectives for the New Economy Initiative. The Advanced Manufacturing and Energy/Materials Science and Technology Centers are already meeting the needs of future industries. Focusing on developing transformative technologies, they serve as a national resource for new energy materials driving device technologies to market.

Dean Duncan, Executive Director of PEI and Grace O’Sullivan, Vice President of Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partners at ASU Knowledge Enterprise and member of the PEI board of directors, join the Summit as this year’s hosts.

“I’m looking forward to sharing the ways PEI and ASU are partnering with local and international business communities to bring scalable healthcare, blockchain technology, advanced manufacturing and energy solutions to market and develop our future industry leaders. The investments made in these areas are critical to continuing Arizona’s pipeline of innovations and talent,” said O’Sullivan.

PEI again welcomes Chris Camacho, President and CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council and PEI board member to deliver closing remarks and a call to the community.

“Greater Phoenix has seen major movement in the rapidly accelerating healthcare, semiconductor, artificial intelligence and blockchain industries among others, and is poised to experience substantial economic growth and transformation in 2022,” said Camacho. “Now is the time to scale the investments that drive the region’s resiliency through modernized infrastructure and enhanced labor delivery systems.”

To learn more about the 2022 State of Innovation Summit and to register, visit at



The event agenda includes PEI and ASU-led panels about the continued investments in scaling research initiatives and how they lead to technological innovations and economic opportunity, including:

·         Scaling Applied Research at PEI’s WearTech Applied Research Center, outlining the growth of the wearable technology ecosystem to improve human performance and health in Arizona, the panel will be moderated by Joseph Hitt, Ph.D., CEO of GoX Labs and paneled by Vicki Mayo, CEO and Co-Founder of TouchPoint Solution and others.

·         Scaling Applied Research at PEI’s Blockchain Applied Research Center, explaining the impact of blockchain technology in Arizona and upcoming projects, the discussion include Scott Carlson, Head of Blockchain at Kudelski Security, Dragan Boscovic, Research Director at AZ Blockchain Applied Research Center and others.

·         Supporting Industries of the Future at ASU’s Science and Technology Centers, outlining the projects of the Advanced Manufacturing and Energy and Material Science and Technology Centers, the panel will be led by Kyle Squires, Dean of the ASU Fulton Schools of Engineering and joined by Sally Morton, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of the Knowledge Enterprise at ASU, and ASU graduate students working on applied research projects.

Partnership for Economic Innovation is a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities. We believe innovation’s next challenge isn’t exponential growth, it’s exponential impact — which is why PEI is investing in community-building technology and R&D designed to make Arizona more resilient and empower innovators to bring world-changing ideas to market. PEI initiatives include:

  • WearTech and Blockchain Applied Research Centers are accelerating the development of emerging technology products with the potential to improve lives and create economic value.
  • Pipeline AZ, a career exploration platform creating more transparent pathways to advanced industry jobs and connecting Arizona workers to any training they might need to get there.
  • The Connective, Greater Phoenix’s internationally acclaimed Smart Region collaborative, convening cities, industries and entrepreneurs to lay the open innovation groundwork to solve regional challenges.


The New Economy Initiative supports the development of five Science and Technology Centers (STCs) at ASU that will position Phoenix and Arizona for national and global leadership in the New Economy. STCs nurture local industries and lay the foundation for Arizona to compete for nationally and internationally significant economic development opportunities that create high-paying jobs.

As hubs that allow industry to work directly with faculty and students to take innovations from the lab to the market, STCs will support a robust ecosystem of future-oriented New Economy enterprises that enable rapid transition toward a high-tech economy. STCs facilitate collaborative research, support startups and entrepreneurs, and create the jobs of the future through training of ASU students and upskilling of the current workforce. Deep linkages with industry will help STCs to establish a virtuous cycle of university research and education informed by market needs, which in turn stimulates industrial growth that benefits from ongoing university-based education and innovation.

The STCs supported by the New Economy Initiative will produce recurring, long-term return on investment for Arizona in five key clusters of future technologies.

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