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Arizona Governor Receives Tech-based ED Recommendations

January 09, 2004

In 2003, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano charged the Governor's Council on Innovation and Technology with developing specific recommendations to help diversify the state's economy. With recommendations including new and expanded tax credits, public-private venture capital, angel capital funds, workforce development and internship programs, and lobbying Washington for more funding, the governor now must find a way to finance the plan in a tight fiscal environment.

The draft recommendations from the group, released in December, were developed through five strategic themes: building on Arizona's core competencies; investment versus expenditure; collaboration and partnership – engagement; accountability – measurements, shared responsibility; and leadership and commitment, both public and private. While some of the recommendations are vague, others are very specific:

  • Establish the Arizona Small Business Opportunity Program, which would provide a tax credit of 30 percent to 35 percent to promote seed or pre-seed stage investment in the biosciences and rural Arizona. The credit could be deferred over three years and would be capped at $20 million.
  • Create a $100 million venture capital fund, capitalized equally from the state via tax credits or a specified revenue source and private sources, including pension funds and university endowments.
  • Expand Arizona's R&D tax credit to provide a super credit for expenditures toward sponsored R&D at in-state research universities.
  • Create a staffed Strategic Investment Board to oversee the state's venture and angel investments.
  • Establish an Arizona office in Washington to secure additional federal funding and pursue a future federal lab installation.

The Arizona Republic reports Gov. Napolitano will outline her 2004 technology agenda on Feb. 10, using the Council's draft recommendations as a foundation.

More information on the Council's work is available at: http://www.gcit.az.gov/index.html