Pursuing the development of high tech jobs

Economic Growth and Innovation

The economic growth & innovation focus area pursues the development of high tech, high wage jobs for the region. It supports efforts in research, tech transfer, funding through Science Foundation Arizona and Fund of Funds and emerging technology like Solar, and leads regional efforts in bioscience.

Objectives:

  • Build Southern Arizona’s research strengths around bioscience technology.
  • Nurture all sources of revenue, including venture capital, to build a critical mass of bioscience companies in Southern Arizona.
  • Build a talent base, through education and workforce development, that captures and retains Southern Arizona’s human resources.
  • Develop and maintain a business climate supportive of the biosciences and their growth in Southern Arizona.
  • Educate, inform, and spur to action opinion leaders and the general public on Southern Arizona’s future.
  • Develop the regional infrastructure to allow and support anticipated growth.

Co-Chairs

  • Paul August
      Paul August

      Paul August

      US Head Early to Candidate UnitIcagen

      Dr. Paul August has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical discovery and the management of global, collaborative research projects. He leads the discovery Biology team at the Sanofi Tucson Innovation Center in Oro Valley, Arizona. He is focused advancing global research projects to generate small molecule therapeutics and dedicated to the identification of both local and national external partnering opportunities for Sanofi.

      Before starting his scientific career, Paul was intimately involved in New Hampshire state government. While pursuing his Bachelors of Science degree in biology at St. Anselm College in Manchester New Hampshire, Paul was elected as the youngest member of the New Hampshire General Court, representing the town of Goffstown in the NH state House of Representatives and a member of the Hillsborough County legislative delegation. Paul served for two years on the executive departments and administration committee in the NH House of Representatives.

      Paul received a Masters of Science Degree from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. He followed up his interest in pharmaceuticals with a Post-Doctoral position at the University of Washington Seattle in the Department of Organic chemistry. Subsequently, he accepted a position in the Genetic Engineering department of MDS Pharma (Panlabs) in Bothell Washington. Paul was recruited to Ariad Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge Massachusetts as part of the joint venture with the pharmaceutical giant Hoechst Marion Roussel (HMR) which was eventually acquired by HMR. After many years and several large mergers later, the company ultimately took the shape of the Sanofi group today.

      Paul is married and the proud father of three Children. His daughter attends American University in Washington DC and his sons attend Basis in Oro Valley.

    • Harry George
        Harry George

        Harry George

        Managing PartnerSolstice Capital

        Harry has more than 35 years experience in founding, operating and investing in successful rapid growth technology-related companies. He is a co-founder of Solstice Capital. From its inception in 1981 to 1989, Mr. George was co-founder, Director, and Vice-President of Finance for Interleaf Inc. During this time, Interleaf, a pioneer in electronic publishing, grew to be a publicly traded company with $100 million in annual revenue. In January 2000, Interleaf was acquired by Broadvision in a stock merger that valued Interleaf at approximately $900 million. Prior to this, Harry was a co-founder, Director and Vice President of Finance of Kurzweil Computer Products, subsequently purchased by Xerox Imaging Systems.

        Harry has been a Director of a number of private and public companies and is currently a Director of AmpliMed, Lumidigm, High Throughput Genomics, and Regenesis Biomedical. He is a member of the Investors’ Circle and was active with the Arizona Venture Capital Conference, where he was on the conference screening panel from 1997-2003. Harry is a member of the advisory committee of the MBA program at the Eller School of Business of the University of Arizona and serves as an advisor to the Arizona Center for Innovation. From 1996 to 2003, he was a Trustee of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and he currently serves as its Vice Chair of Treasure the Desert Capital Campaign. He is also a Trustee of the Tucson Museum of Art. He received an AB from Bowdoin College.

      • David Mehl
          David Mehl

          David Mehl

          PresidentCottonwood Properties, Inc.

          David Mehl is the President of Cottonwood Properties, a Tucson-based real estate development company. Since 1975, Cottonwood has developed over $800 million of real estate projects in Southern Arizona. Cottonwood’s major activity has been the planning and development of large-scale residential communities.

          Cottonwood (or affiliated entities) is currently developing the 6,200-acre Dove Mountain community in Marana, Arizona, northwest of Tucson and has been doing so since the mid 1980’s. Cottonwood’s developments within Dove Mountain include the Ritz-Carlton hotel, the Dove Mountain Golf Club with a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, numerous residential developments with over 3,500 homes, several apartment communities, and a neighborhood shopping center. Cottonwood is currently developing The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton (approx. 200+ luxury homes with resort related services) on 850 acres within Dove Mountain.

          Cottonwood is also the developer of the 800 acre La Paloma Community in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being the master developer, Cottonwood developed the 487 room Westin La Paloma destination resort hotel and the 27-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course.

          Cottonwood also developed 600+ acres of residential land in Rita Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, and has developed several other residential communities in the greater Tucson area.

          In addition to community development activities, Cottonwood has developed and owned numerous apartment, retail, office and housing developments.

          Mr. Mehl graduated from the University of Arizona in 1972 and received a Masters degree from the University of Illinois in 1975. He is past chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pima County Real Estate Research Council, a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and a full member of the Urban Land Institute, serving on its Community Development Council.

          David and Bonnie were actively involved in the creation of the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy and David served on the school board for 14 years, 8 years as chair. David is also on the board of Good News Communications, which operates for Christian radio stations in Southern Arizona.

          David has been married to his wife Bonnie for 40 years and has two sons, Wesley and Carson.

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