Arizona State University women’s golf team won a national championship over USC, Stanford and Northwestern last week. Considering the effort and dedication required to top formidable, ongoing competition, these talented athletes deserve our applause and recognition.
Fortunately for our region and our economy, ASU’s national championship-level work extends to its cutting-edge research enterprise as well.
In addition to noting ASU’s recent women’s golf national title, ASU President Michael Crow shared recently with the Greater Phoenix Chamber Board of Directors news of another sort of national championship won by ASU – not on the playing field but in the field of ideas.
“In sports it’s always clear. Our women’s golf team won the national championship yesterday, it was fantastic,” Crow said. “They beat Northwestern, Stanford and USC. Well, we beat Northwestern, Stanford and USC in funded research outside of medicine…that’s equal to winning a national championship in a major sport.”
An important part of the Chamber’s mission is to act as a catalyst to convene employers, educational institutions and partnering organizations to grow Arizona’s economy. A critical aspect of that effort is filling the workforce talent pipeline. Educational institutions including ASU play a vital role in that effort, in building the strong, innovation-based economy that will sustain us into the future. ASU and Dr. Crow, with 30,000 people involved in research activities and 1,600 funded research groups, are helping build that future.
“They take their ideas out to the marketplace to companies, foundations and philanthropists – to places like the National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research,” Crow said. “They take their ideas out there, compete, and win these grants which are at the leading edge of science, engineering and technology.”
And it’s no secret that an economy grown through STEM field careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is built to carry us into the future. Today’s funded research projects become the basis for tomorrow’s new companies offering high-paying jobs. And when you add in the renewal this year of the state’s Angel Investment Tax Credit by the Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey, we are setting the stage here for a strong future with endless possibilities. We just have to continue to collaborate and think big. Michael Crow does.
“This place, with everything we have as physical assets and everything that we’re doing, should be the most successful American city economically, socially, culturally, life achievement, educational attainment and diversification,” he said. “This is the place.”
And he’s correct. This is “the place” because the leaders here envision what it should be and take actions to make it that way. Join us, our door is always open.