A new report commissioned by the Flinn Foundation reveals the Technology and Research Initiative Fund, or TRIF, led to a growth of startups, patents, and license income, the creation of new bioscience institutes, the retention and recruitment of faculty, as well as a growing return on investment.
The Milken Institute report released April 15, 2020 studied the impact of TRIF since it was approved by Arizona voters in 2000 as part of Proposition 301. More than $1.1 billion has been used for scientific research at Arizona’s three state universities.
TRIF plays critical role in bioscience research, tech transfer at state universities
The Milken Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, analyzed the impact of TRIF since it was approved by Arizona voters in 2000 as part of Proposition 301. Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona have received 12% of the sales tax collections, $1.12 billion to date, for scientific research.
The report was commissioned by the Flinn Foundation.
The Flinn Foundation was established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. In addition to advancing the biosciences, the foundation supports the Flinn Scholarship, a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Flinn-Brown Fellowship civic leadership program.
Milken concluded that TRIF “laid the groundwork for developing a strong technology transfer and innovation infrastructure within Arizona” and that its existence today “is an essential component of Arizona’s innovation economy.” Arizona’s high-tech and life science GDP grew by 27.16% in the five years ending in 2018, and by 6.83% in 2018 alone, the report states.
The growth of startups, patents, and license income, the creation of new bioscience institutes, the retention and recruitment of faculty, as well as the growing return on investment, can also be attributed to TRIF, the report states. In 2019, an $83.6 million TRIF expenditure led to $433.6 million in additional investment.
Proposition 301, including TRIF, was renewed by the Arizona Legislature through 2041, but no longer has voter-approved protections.
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