Maricopa County is teaming up with the ASU Foundation on a project to develop and train the next generation of entrepreneurs and workers in Arizona’s burgeoning medical-electronic technology (MedTech) industry. The Industrial Development Authority of Maricopa County (IDA) will invest two million dollars over a two-year period to jump-start the development of the program, with a check delivered on Tuesday.
“The medical technology industry is uniquely suited to grow here in Maricopa County, thanks to existing hospitals, industry pioneers such as MedTronic, and the minds of a world-class university in ASU,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Chucri, District 2. “This grant from the IDA is an example of a public-private partnership that can help grow and diversify our economy, and bring jobs that improve the quality of life in Maricopa County.”
Participants in the program will have access to a MedTech entrepreneurism course taught by ASU faculty and industry and entrepreneurial subject matter experts; hands-on, high-tech training at ASU’s Flexible Electronics & Display Center; internships and apprenticeships at companies like Medtronic and Gore; and connections with MedTech startups. ASU will also work with the Maricopa County Community College District and other local educational institutions to develop training certifications programs that meet industrial needs and improve the capacity of entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to commercialize new MedTech products.
Wearable electronics and handheld portable devices that provide on-demand diagnostic information for patients and their health care providers only represent the beginning of what is possible using these technologies, and why it’s important to have a highly skilled workforce that can meet these growing demands.
This investment will help us bring together experts from academic, industrial and entrepreneurial settings to spur workforce development on a grand scale,” said Kyle Squires, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “This cross-disciplinary training program shares the Fulton Schools’ expertise, infrastructure and resources while promoting economic growth in Maricopa County.”
The non-profit IDA’s mission is to help promote economic development in Maricopa County. The IDA Board approves grant funding on a yearly basis, with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors providing oversight.
“We want to fund programs and organizations that have a real shot at making a difference in people’s lives, whether that’s helping vulnerable populations or bringing high-tech, high-wage jobs to the region,” said Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority President Steven Bales, Jr. “The MedTech program at ASU is a perfect fit with our mission, and we’re optimistic that our initial investment will help boost Maricopa County’s position as a leader and innovator in the field.”