Pursuing the development of high tech jobs

Innovation Economy

The innovation economy 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.


  • 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.


  • Paul August
      Paul August

      Paul August

      Vice President BiologyIcagen

      Dr. Paul August is a vice president at the Icagen Tucson Innovation Center in Oro Valley. He has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical discovery and the management of global, collaborative research projects. While pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in biology at St. Anselm College in Manchester, he was elected to the New Hampshire state legislature representing the town of Goffstown. He was the youngest state representative in New Hampshire history.

      Dr. August obtained a Master of Science in genetics from the University of Connecticut and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. He continued his research training as NIH NRSA post-doctoral fellow in molecular genetics and organic chemistry at the University of Washington Seattle. Dr. August was recruited to Ariad Pharmaceuticals in 1998. Subsequently Ariad was partially acquired in 2000 by Hoechst Marion Roussel, which ultimately took shape as Sanofi today. In 2009, Dr. August relocated to the Sanofi Tucson site to lead the North American Early to Candidate unit and develop a research team focused on instituting stem cell derived human models with a focus on rare diseases.

      Over the last year, Dr. August has played a pivotal role in spinning out the Sanofi R&D site in Oro Valley to create the Icagen Tucson Innovation Center. In this new environment, Dr. August is collaborating with academic institutions and biotechnology companies across the United Statesto advance drug discovery  by developing new models of research partnerships. Dr. August is also an avid entrepreneur, advancing the formation of science-focused companies as a co-founder and venture investor, as well a member of the Desert Angels since 2012.

    • 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.

      Innovation Economy News


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