Arizona State University Awarded Center Of Excellence In Technology Transfer From Department of Defense

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Scottsdale, AZ January 13, 2014 -- Arizona State University has been awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to create a new “Pracademic Center of Excellence in Technology Transfer” (PACE/T2). PACE/T2 leverages ASU’s proven method and record of success to support technology transfer and commercialization from DOD laboratories. The Center is a collaboration led by ASU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (EIG) in association with Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s Security and Defense Systems Initiative (SDSI) and ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

Technology transfer from federal government laboratories, especially for DOD laboratories, has become an increasingly important strategic objective. PACE/T2 will play an important role in meeting DOD’s strategy, plans, goals and metrics for substantially increasing transfer and commercialization of dual-use technologies developed in defense laboratories to the commercial marketplace.

“This award is a testimony to the innovations in technology transfer and commercialization activities that are a core principle at ASU, and our ability to adapt these methodologies to other locations and institutions,” said Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at ASU and principal investigator on the grant.

ASU has experimented to develop, implement and operate a novel approach to technology transfer and commercialization that has proven to be remarkably effective. It has undertaken an evidence-based “learn-by-doing” approach that is focused on practical aspects of stimulating entrepreneurship to enable technology transfer and successful commercialization. This “pracademic” approach has demonstrated enormous success in achieving entrepreneurially driven transfer and commercialization of technologies.

Transfer and commercialization of technologies created at ASU is managed by AzTE, the technology transfer arm for ASU, in part via the Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator led by EIG. Over the past 10 years, AzTE has supported the launch and development of 67 ASU spinout companies. Spinouts based on ASU-developed technologies raised $68 million in external funding during the 2013 fiscal year. Altogether, companies licensing ASU discoveries have raised nearly $400 million in total venture funding since AzTE’s creation in 2003.

“The mix of AzTE experience and EIG’s Furnace methodology has proven itself to be a valuable tool for the technology transfer here in ASU,” said Charlie Lewis, vice president for venture development at AzTE. “We expect to deploy this range of tools to help the DOD reach its strategic objectives for technology transfer.”

ASU’s EIG helps innovators, inventors, ideators and entrepreneurs launch their for-profit, nonprofit and more-than-profit ventures. Over the past three years the unit has grown to encompass not just startup acceleration but a broad range of entrepreneurship-related activities across the university, the metro area and the state. In the current fiscal year EIG will support almost 80 startups.

About the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (

Arizona State University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, a joint initiative between the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Arizona Technology Enterprises, serves as the hub for entrepreneurial activity at ASU. Based at ASU SkySong in Scottsdale, the group supports students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, helping them navigate the wide range of entrepreneurship-related classes, programs and resources available throughout the university and within the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The group also helps entrepreneurs launch their for-profit, nonprofit and more-than-profit ventures through programs such as the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative and the Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator, which provide funding, incubation space and mentorship to high-potential startups. In addition, the group works to build Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with community-wide initiatives such as the Alexandria Co-working Network, a statewide network of collaboration spaces in public libraries.

About Arizona Technology Enterprises (

Established in 2003, Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University. Over the last 10 years AzTE has supported the development of 67 ASU spinout companies. Comprising industry and university veterans, AzTE brings together ASU’s researchers and industry partners to transform discoveries into marketable products and services, taking innovation out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace. AzTE currently offers for licensing more than 300 novel technologies in the life and physical sciences.

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