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05 Healthy Outlook 06 Better Paydays 08 Leading Edge Learning 014 Speed of Innovation


PUBLISHERS Sandra Watson Steven G. Zylstra


Don Rodriguez

014 At the Speed of Innovation:




Arizona driven to be leader in automotive technology

Erin Loukili Lucky You! Creative


Jaclyn Threadgill

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tom Cooley Scott Seckel Bruce A. Wright Steve Yozwiak

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Partnerships, data to create a winning combination.

TechConnect is published by the Arizona Technology Council, 2800 N. Central Ave. #1920, Phoenix, AZ 85004.


Entire contents copyright 2016, Arizona Technology Council. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Products named in these page pages are trade names or trademarks of their respective companies. Publication of TechConnect is supported by the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Employment in STEM fields to boost salary levels.




Work started early on leading edge learning.


Also Inside

016 Arizona State University 017 The University of Arizona 018 Northern Arizona University 019 TGen

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Publisher’s Letter

In Synch for Future Think n

o doubt like most people you’re wondering what’s going to happen this year. During the summer, a group of Arizona leaders put their heads together to consider the same thing. Only they were challenged to look farther out—to 2025. Their setting was the annual CEO retreat sponsored by the Arizona Technology Council. Every August executives from throughout the state gather in Sedona to discuss common ideas and issues they face throughout the year. One of the exercises this year challenged participants to practice being futurists of sorts. They were asked to form groups and develop newspapers that featured the headlines on expected hot tech topics of the day. The group members represented a variety of disciplines, so the resulting ideas were varied—and rather interesting. For example, on the topic of technology innovation, these were some of the headlines for 2025: Arizona is the fastest-growing technology hub in U.S., offering an alternative to long-time leader Silicon Valley. Contributing greatly to innovation are the universities. Collaboration among Arizona State University, The University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University drives creation of the first carbon- and water-neutral community. The ASU Innovation Center drives dramatic economic growth. The University of Phoenix in partnership with MSS technologies graduates its 10,000th cybersecurity specialist. This contributes to Arizona being the leader in cybersecurity, which also is supported by data centers and Cy-




ber Warfare Lab. Arizona has even managed to strike a balance between innovation and privacy. Even the Legislature helps by banning parking lots and storefronts because all purchases are now done online and delivered by Uber, Google, Total Transit and Amazon UAVs. If you follow technology—as many TechConnect readers do—some of the ideas may seem a little far-fetched while many seem natural outcomes of the trends underway now. Keep in mind that the groups were mixed, so some participants were experts on the topic while many others never had been asked previously for their theories on the subjects. In this issue, we decided to take the exercise farther as we take a look at other topic areas explored at the retreat and expected to be drivers of our future economy. They include education, health care, sustainability and workforce. While we share the highlights of those forecasts on these pages, we also asked experts—most attended the retreat but didn’t necessarily weigh in on the topics during the exercise—where they think we’re headed, so the stories that follow will give you a full spectrum of what could be around the corner. Also inside, some of our other writers explored where we appear to be headed in 2025 and beyond. From the state’s role in research involving autonomous vehicles to the evolution of credit card security—anyone get beeped by their chip yet?—TechConnect takes a look at the future. Only time will tell which headlines ultimately are on the money. STEVEN G. ZYLSTRA is president and CEO of the Arizona

Technology Council.

Close+up: Focusing on Significant Topics Affecting Technology

I believe that we are doing great work to extend life expectancy towards 100.



- Russ Yelton, Pinnacle Transplant Technologies CEO

HEALTH CARE FORECAST FOR 2025: The quality of life has improved for Arizonans through health initiatives and community outreach. The state is the leader in advanced medical science through partnerships with the universities’ medical schools, Mexico research, the Bioscience Roadmap, TGen and the Mayo Clinic. Arizona is considered a pioneer in cancer breakthroughs. Low ground-level ozone pollution earned the state a grade of “A” from the American Lung Association. Arizona’s leadership in personalized medicine innovations led to life expectancy exceeding age 100. IN ACTION NOW: From his vantage point as CEO of Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, Russ Yelton sees Arizona on its way to reaching some of the

forecasts made for the health care sector. He anticipates the quality of life improving, thanks to the pace established with improved health care over the past decade and much more community outreach. Add to that the successes achieved as results of partnerships of medical school, as well as research on both sides of the border. In particular, “I believe that the work that the Flinn Foundation has done with the Bioscience Roadmap has not only highlighted advances in this sector,” Yelton says, “but has done an excellent job in helping organizations be more aware of the work that others are doing.” Arnold Jee, CEO of Rare Labs, sees the progress of health care getting a boost by 2025, thanks to use of the Big Data through government initiatives in collecting health care information and centralizing the data for complete care of a patient as well as ease of use. The use of data as in overall patient care will make a significant impact within the health care industries, he says. This will be a twofold process, Jee says. First will be the availability of information enabling providers to access patient information to make assessments in areas such as disease, behavior and prescriptions. This will provide providers a holistic view of the patient and how to treat them, he says. Second will be the information allowing the ability to actually perform business intelligence in the patient’s health, which will allow proactive treatments, alternative medicines and predictive analytics in future diseases. “With this collection of information, it will not only promote positive outcomes for patient care but curb future healthcare cost further,” Jee says. HEALTH CARE continued on page 015




Those that survive are not the strongest or the fastest; they are the most flexible and adaptable.



- Shashi Jasthi, Solugenix president and CEO


FORECAST FOR 2025: Arizona is considered the STEM job capital of the world. Nine out of 10 Arizonans hold a post-secondary degree in a STEM-related field. Of those, 80 percent hold high wage positions upon graduation. The average salary in the state has increased 40 percent over past decade while the cost of living has remained remarkably low. The average salary range is $75,000 to $100,000. Arizona is the first to connect the entire state so telecommuting is easily available to the workforce. IN ACTION NOW: With 2016 being filled with announcements of new tech-driven ventures planned for Arizona,



the state definitely is making headway to convince the world that there is more than blue-collar talent to offer here. But does Arizona have what it takes to be a leader when it comes to a STEM workforce? With some clarification of details and on a per capita basis, it is possible. At least Ian R. Roark, vice president of workforce development at Pima Community College, sees the potential for that happening. With STEM jobs relating to all fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the workforce would include all jobs at all education levels in those arenas. Even more, the “M” in STEM is now being interpreted to mean “medicine” (i.e., science, technology, engineering and medicine),


Roark says, making the odds of Arizona moving into the lead even more feasible. With aerospace and defense, information technology, bioscience, optics and health science being primary sectors of the state, it is possible to encapsulate a lot under STEM, he says. “Even the broad application of manufacturing and the specific industry of mining can be housed under ‘technology’ or ‘engineering,’” Roark says. These types of jobs open the door to higher income levels. Katie Milne, vice president of client strategy and development at Emerge, sees the potential for a jump in the average salary. She cites an on-demand workforce being able to contribute knowledge and productivity multi-directionally. In turn, this creates simultaneous streams of income and significant gains in individual net annual incomes, which approach and enter triple-digit annual earnings. The on-demand workforce of 2025 in Arizona will continue to see an increase in postsecondary, STEM-related credentials. Concurrently, Arizona will continue to see the trend of an increasing segment of the workforce that forgoes the time and monetary costs of traditional post-secondary degree acquisition, Milne says. Instead, they will acquire certifications to gain less costly, more job-specific skills. “If and when access to postsecondary education shifts nationwide, Arizona will be well positioned to attract those learners — and the workers they will become,” she says. Other phenomena are arising with these changes. Both today’s businesses and members of the workforce want to enable greater freedom and agility that yields innovative business solutions and improved working conditions, a trend that will continue into 2025 and beyond, Milne says. Companies also can find great talent outside of the full-time employment pool, increasing their speed to market, she says. In addition, Arizona has had success in connecting the entire state, so telecommuting is easily available to the workforce, says Shashi

Jasthi, president and CEO of Solugenix. And it doesn’t hurt that the cost of living has remained remarkably low through it all, he says. Still, there remains more work to do. “Investing in the educational infrastructure is needed to bring about the outcomes,” Roark says. Other states have gained the edge with workforce development because they invest in it accordingly, especially at the postsecondary levels, he says. Further, they leverage these investments as assets and as part of their business retention and attraction strategies. He sees new hope in Achieve60AZ, a new initiative to make Arizona more competitive by supporting a goal of 60 percent of adults ages 25-64 achieving a professional certificate or college degree by 2030. This moves the state toward achieving a more highly educated population in order to build the workforce and attract more business to our state. “Beginning with Achieve60AZ and the alignment of the secondary and postsecondary educational systems to the workforce and economic development priorities of the state,” Roark says, “we can see (some of the forecast) coming to pass if the necessary investments in the educational infrastructure are made, alongside the correct accountability measures and system structures.” Engaging a highly skilled, collaborative on-demand workforce will be a critical element to solving business challenges leading up to 2025, Milne says. Collaborative partnerships with outside talent is a key strategy for meeting the talent gap and to enable companies to expand and innovate so Arizona will continue to be a magnet for this type of talent, she says. Technologies come and go, Jasthi says, but a truly intelligent, confident workforce with strong fundamentals aided by an academe that provides actionable adult education can make a state stronger. “Remember the first law of evolution: those that survive are not the strongest or the fastest; they are the most flexible and adaptable,” he says. WINTER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM






FORECAST FOR 2025: Arizona has become a world-class leader in education innovation. Its ranking compared to other states has significantly improved due to increased funding and legislative reform. A globalization approach in education has brought students closer to the rest of the world. Arizona attracts new families by leading the country in language immersion in international cultural education. Arizona has become a leader in post-secondary STEM education. Harvard University has even opened a new extension lab with Arizona State University. Companies attribute their success to Arizona’s well-educated workforce. IN ACTION NOW: Arizona already has a leg up to move toward the education forecast. The state already is a source of multiple examples of innovative delivery platforms for education, from those found at the University of Phoenix and Thunderbird School of Global Management to the robust charter and magnet school systems, says Timothy Kelley, chairman of Canyon Angels, Grand Canyon University’s entrepreneur opportunity fund. He also is chair of entrepreneurship and an assistant professor at the university, whose explosive



growth is the newest example of Arizona’s changing higher education landscape. Add to that the education technology born at companies such as Picmonic to experimental schools like the Phoenix Coding Academy, he says. A new generation of leaders in science, technology, education and math is taking shape with the young participants throughout Arizona in the Chief Science Officers (CSO) program, says Cathleen Barton, founder of Cathleen Barton Consulting who also has served as U.S. education manager for Intel. “The idea of creating this leadership role in the area of science and technology that students play not only in their schools but engaging them in the communities to continue to increase the awareness from a student’s perspective about the importance of science and technology in the world today,” she says. With its start by Arizona SciTech and the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, the CSO program even has been recognized by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, leading to its being replicated around the country.  The CSOs are part of something bigger. “While community and the social experience of physically being together in a school are critical to our social integration, the team


We cannot underestimate the impact of technology on education in the near term. - Timothy Kelley, Canyon Angels chairman

learning experience is likely to supplant the traditional subject-based education model,” Kelley says. Individual contributions to team projects will force students to learn specific subjects like math, English, history and social studies as they relate to projects and even entrepreneurial ventures, he says. This can begin to occur even at the earliest of ages. Arizona attracts new families by becoming a leader in language immersion as part of international cultural education, says Kelley, who with his wife is co-owner of Little Big Minds Spanish Immersion Preschool. “We see a strong shift in young successful families that now see the value of bilingualism,” he says. This all offers the setting leading to a system of higher education that will become much different. Expect many more choices, says Dennis Bonilla, executive dean of the College of Information Systems and Technology at University of Phoenix. Those will include shorter programs as competency-based mastery will be the prime driver for job seekers. Features will include micro-credentials, badges and nanodegrees “because it’s already moving in that direction,” Bonilla says. Education is key to the workforce issue, which the business leaders say is key to their expansion, Barton says. “High-quality education and a strong business environment that’s conducive to good economic growth can’t be mutually exclusive,” she says. “They’re too inextricably connected: the quality of our education and the business environment that we want. We have to get creative and innovative, and think about how supporting both of those works.” One way comes through recommendations

in the Arizona Technology Council’s 2017 Public Policy Guide, Barton says. For example, the council encourages the Legislature to restore all funding to Arizona’s three remaining joint technical education districts and increase implementation of early college and career high schools through dual enrollment. “If we allow students at an earlier age access to secondary courses, it increases their relevance because they’re studying things that they want to study but still help support their high school graduation requirements,” she says. “Also in many cases they’re taking computer science classes, they’re taking advanced manufacturing classes, they’re taking programming classes and similar courses, which helps to start developing the workforce and awareness of different careers much earlier and it accelerates their development.” Similarly, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality used in education, along with individualized experiential learning can leapfrog much of traditional learning, Kelley says. “We cannot underestimate the impact of technology on education in the near term,” he says. Still, Bonilla and Barton are concerned a lack of adequate state funding for education stands in the way of achieving Arizona’s potential in education. Barton recently attended a session sponsored by the Arizona Business and Education Coalition where discussion topics included different strategies and approaches to funding education. A theme that continued to surface was the workforce and limitations on its availability so companies can expand their bases in Arizona and new businesses decide to come here. Yet, at the same time businesses tend to side with tax cuts and incentives that take money out of the general fund, which is where education is funded, she says. The focus needs to shift to increasing teacher pay and the number of teachers that school districts can afford, Barton says. “If we were to make some improvement in those areas, I think we could potentially attract and retain the high-quality teachers to the field so our kids would get the education experience they want,” she says. WINTER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM






FORECAST FOR 2025: Sustainable energy exceeds its goal by 50 percent. In solar technology, APS and Arizona’s technology industry have taken the Southwest off the traditional grid as solar power reaches 100 percent of its potential. Arizona has become the first state to generate 500 MW of power. Water sustainability is finally realized. Water conservation is achieved through technology as 95 percent of all water is recycled. Waste actually becomes big business as 35 percent of state energy requirements are met with biomass. The state’s GDP doubles, driven by the waste tech sector. The state exports $2 billion in waste technology management technology. The first recycling startup unicorn exits for $1.2 billion. Energy mergers are at an all-time high. As forests become considered crops, Arizona is considered the role model in sustainability for the United States.



IN ACTION NOW: To get a sense of the potential impact that technology offers for water conversation in Arizona, you only need look to Sierra Vista. “Local government has an opportunity to expand its already significant role in sustainability in the future, namely in water conservation and waste management,” says Assistant City Manager Mary Jacobs. The city has been recharging more than 2,000 acre feet of water annually since constructing its wastewater treatment plant nearly 15 years ago. That amount is about a third of the total amount of water pumped annually in the entire community, including nearby Fort Huachuca, says Jacobs, who notes that the source of its potable water is groundwater. Besides replenishing the aquifer, recharging in Sierra Vista also helps protect the nearby San Pedro River. Like other places, water treatment technology


enables reuse and recharge of treated effluent. Of the total 6,218 acre feet of groundwater pumped in 2015, Jacobs says, only 2,785 acre feet made its way to the treatment plant. That means a whopping 72 percent of the effluent was reused. With upgrades made to the plant over the past five years, Sierra Vista has seen an improvement in the percentage of effluent recharged. “With improved technology and additional investment in the future, it is possible to see the 72 percent approach 95 percent,” she says. Also well underway in Arizona is recycling, especially of computer and electronic equipment that is processed every day by Westech Recyclers. Tom Holland, the company’s business development manager, says recycling rates of such equipment throughout the country continue to climb due the public being educated about recycling. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the United States was recycling 27 percent of the e-waste generated by weight in 2010. That rate climbed to 30.6 percent in 2012 and 40.4 percent in 2013. By 2025, it would be feasible to estimate that more than 60 percent of the electronic waste generated in the United States will be recycled, Holland says. As recycling increases, he says, the tonnage of e-waste actually decreases due to the trend of smaller electronic items such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and GPS units. Adding to the trend are heavy CRT televisions and monitors being replaced with lighter and smaller LCD televisions and monitors. As businesses move to the cloud. servers, networking switches, modems and routers also have shrunk. Also key is some manufacturers designing products that can easily be refurbished instead of disposable such as iPhones that are more difficult to refurbish, Holland says. “With all of the high-tech companies located in Arizona, I would think it might be possible for the state of Arizona to export up to $2 billion in waste technology management technology,” Holland says. “Sustainable energy exceeds its goal by 50 percent” is another forecast closer to reality than some observers would think. At least that’s

the observation of, Ross Vroman, executive vice president – general manager of Skanska USA Building, which is involved in sustainable projects. “We live in a perfect place for renewables,” he says. Considering what the Pacific Northwest has done to generate energy power via hydropower, Vroman says, “Arizona has the land and climate to do the same with solar and wind. In the built environment, there’s enough green building knowledge out there to help guide owners toward net-zero—maybe even net-positive—energy without a significant premium.” The driver would be customer demand. “If, by 2025, building and project owners—private and public entities—are demanding that designs incorporate features that help them offset their energy and water costs, we’ll be in a great spot,” he says. Builders can advise on how to keep those costs minimal in construction and show the best methods to get the fastest ROI possible, turning these features into windfalls that hit the bottom line. “If a building is generating net-positive energy or has waste greywater that could be used as chilled water for a facility across the street, we need to be one of the catalysts getting those entities to collaborate,” Vroman says. “When it’s 115 degrees outside and yet a building owner is able to show net-positive energy and a lower-than-ever water footprint, it’s a tangible benefit to operational costs,” he says. “We make that happen and it will change cities far beyond Arizona.”

We live in a perfect place for renewables. - Ross Vroman, Skanska USA Building executive vice president – general manager






Taking a look at the future of payment technology

e’ve come to accept and embrace change, as that seems to be the only constant in our 21st century lifestyle. Everything from processor speed to storage capabilities and costs have been greatly affected by changes and the evolution of our digital adoption. But what about the credit card? Why do we still see fraud and data security breaches? And what will payments look like in 2025? These are questions asked by both the payment industry and consumers alike. Back in 2000 and the early days of onboarding new merchant processing accounts, our primary goal was to sell hardware. The biggest objections simply were answered with “Our current solution already works.” Never mind that the solution was appropriately nicknamed the “knuckle buster,” a bulky slide mechanism for making card imprints, followed by a manual process of delivering sales receipts to the local branch. Adoption of electronic authorization and settlement brought significant improvements



in authorization times, processing costs and direct deposits, and, most importantly, allowed massive accumulation of data points from each transaction. Additionally, accounting for this payment type ignited the entrepreneurial drive of point of sale providers, inventory management applications and accounting software. In efforts to streamline the ordering process and improve the payment transaction, many software development companies started integrating the payment function into their workflow. This allowed the elimination of additional hardware on desks, automated the accountability of each transaction and allowed significantly deeper layers of reporting on each transaction. The “direct integration” method had grown considerably and allowed unorthodox revenue models and valuations. Square is the perfect example of the disruptor that completely wrote its own rules for success. With its simple “dongle” mag swipe reader or the entire point


of sale/inventory management, an intuitive workflow and the predictable fee per transaction, Square is dominating the local farmers markets and coffee shops. QuickBooks also allowed direct integration for the collection of online payments from invoices. And sophisticated card data storage solutions allowed for secure subscription billing utilized by Amazon, Netflix and Uber. With each advance in payment technology, there have been equal advances in the regulation and standards for processing data in such a format. For example, when payments started moving heavily into direct integrations, the payment card industry (PCI) established a set of best practices for Data Security Standards (DSS). At first, it was recommended that any merchant that accepted credit cards adopt the PCI-DSS, which eventually became required. However, PCI has many problems. First, at the core, it is still just a set of “standards.” Second, meeting the stringent demands for PCI compliance and passing the Self-Assessment Questionnaire have become increasingly challenging, even for the tech savvy. Lastly, there is no real protection with PCI-DSS. Merchants are ultimately liable for each transaction they process. The latest improvement to data security involves a near field communication (NFC) chip, making the first steps away from the magnetic swipe. This solution already has been widely adopted in all western societies except the U.S.—until now. By now, you’ve surely been beeped at because you didn’t take your card soon enough or you chose “Visa Debit” when you shouldn’t have, and you’ve been confused at some point during the transaction process that required your full attention to resolve. This is just the beginning. Soon, we’ll be asked to associate a personal identification number (PIN) with EMV chip card transactions to prevent invalid authorizations. Let’s take a closer look at the EMV chip card technology and specifically the NFC function

that allows the wireless transmission of bytes of data like cardholder information. Eliminating the cumbersome magnetic stripe was required due to ease of data manipulation, degradation over time, and the inefficient manner in which data is stored and processed. EMV guarantees the cardholder is present with the physicality of the transaction process. With NFC, the card data still must be in the specific location and can gather authentication like a PIN but there is no need for the standard credit card itself. With NFC and GPS, the payment card industry has the potential of eliminating the credit card altogether. We’re already seeing these trends with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Soon, we will see more devices with card data embedded in them and made “appropriate payment devices” via NFC. Think about the efficiency gained in high volume, high transactional activity locations. The elimination of the standard payment device will eliminate many of the types of crime associated with credit card theft. Skimmers and malware are ineffective in NFC transactions where every detail can be tracked, such as location, card usage frequency, and history and amounts. Alerts easily can be sent and managed, and improper usage of card data is detected and eliminated promptly. While I see no end approaching for use of the traditional credit card to pay for consumer goods, the format in which it is used will continue to evolve to a point that is unrecognizable today. While natural selection has eliminated the knuckle buster, security and the elimination of friction from the payment process have been the most significant drivers of new payment models. Look for continued inroads into the “frictionless” payment. As founder/CEO of Go Cardconnect, TOM COOLEY balances his time between forecasting trends in payment acceptance, forming strategic alliances with software vendors that serve our mutual niche markets and creating an entrepreneurial culture for his fastgrowing payment processing company.




Arizona Commerce Authority


INNOVATION Arizona is becoming the place for new auto tech


iding a wave of jobs announcements from a diverse mix of innovative startups and iconic global companies, Arizona is one of the fastest-growing technology hubs in the United States. One of the key factors driving this momentum has been the rise of automotive technology, a sector of the economy that state leaders—led by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey—set out to grow in earnest over the past two years. Just as Henry Ford revolutionized car manufacturing in the 20th century, Arizona developed the blueprint for auto tech and autonomous vehicles in the 21st century: embrace new models, ease regulations and welcome innovators with big ideas. That strategy has paid off: • Advanced manufacturing companies such as Lucid are on pace to produce 50,000 electric-powered luxury cars annually from Casa Grande. • Global automakers such as GM and Ford are perfecting self-driving cars, thanks to Arizona’s mix of wide-open roads, urban city streets and desert test tracks. • Homegrown entrepreneurs like Local Motors have engineered self-driving trolleys that can be hailed by anyone with a smartphone and a need for a ride. “Arizona’s open skies and spirit of innovation have made our state fertile ground for advancing the market for autonomous vehicles and developing the transportation systems of



tomorrow,” says Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. Arizona was one of the first states to welcome self-driving vehicle testing. In fact, Gov. Ducey in 2015 issued an executive order instructing state agencies to “undertake any necessary steps to support the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads within Arizona.” Shortly thereafter, Google, Uber, GM and Ford all began testing autonomous vehicles in the state. Google selected Arizona as only one of four locations in the U.S. to test self-driving cars. Hot startup Local Motors developed “Ollie” the self-driving bus here. This innovation has captured the nation’s attention and catapulted Arizona to its current status as the best place to test new ideas. In fact, Fortune Magazine earlier this year declared Greater Phoenix “The Country’s Hottest New City” for automotive technology. The Arizona Commerce Authority expects this momentum to continue. Through collaborations with industry experts and visionaries in academia, as well as economic-development research, we know Arizona is poised to leverage its legacy of big thinking and innovating well into the future. This will continue to positively impact auto technology. So what could Arizona look like in 2025 and beyond? Here’s a glimpse into the future: • The economic impact of autonomous cars and trucks in Arizona is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2025. • Arizona’s strategic location within a day’s drive to some of the world’s largest economies—California, Texas and Mexico—will

Close+up: HEALTH CARE continued from page 005

propel the Grand Canyon State to become a hub for driverless trucks and airborne vehicles that move people and cargo more efficiently and safely than historic modes of transportation. • Autonomous trucks, cargo ships and planes fueled by renewable energy also will reduce transportation costs and open new markets for Arizona. • When disaster strikes in isolated regions, autonomous airborne vehicles could deliver medicine, supplies and hope. • Unmanned balloons, planes and low-flying micro-satellites could deliver high-speed broadband—connectivity—to every corner of the world. Much of the groundwork for the next decade and beyond has already been laid. As the state transforms its strategy for economic development, Arizona understands this kind of innovation is a key to its prosperity and to discovering game-changing improvements for all.

Lucid Motors previewed its vehicles at the Arizona Capitol.

This will give rise to enabling patients and providers to access a centralized hub for medical information, add information and feedback, and share this information in a cost-effective method for health care, he says. Yelton believes regenerative medical products will continue to grow through 2025 and lead to treatments for many different ailments. He already sees use of these products increasing and new treatments being created every year. Both Yelton and Yee see significant taking shape beyond their own organizations and ultimately will having impacts beyond Arizona’s borders. Jee says each state already has an initiative for pushing information to the health information exchange. The bigger picture is enabling all states’ systems to integrate and communicate this information seamlessly while being available in real time and with ease of use so providers can use it to treat patients as they also identify patterns and geographic causes of illnesses and diseases. Yelton says, “I believe that the work the Flinn Foundation has done has helped lay the foundation for something much bigger than where we are today.” In addition, the work between the universities and hospitals not only will provide the workforce needed but also help drive the research not seen in many other areas around the nation. For example, he says, consider the planned research at the new addition under construction at The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. The building will house a neurodegenerative center to accelerate research into Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, as well as be the home of The Center for Applied Structural Discovery to accelerate discoveries related to the structure and associated function of biomolecules. Given a little more time, Yelton sees one more forecast eventually coming true: longer lives. “I believe that we are doing great work to extend life expectancy towards 100,” he says.





Roboticist offers reality check on ‘Westworld’ arrival Heni Ben Amor


estworld” — the HBO show about a technologically advanced, Westernthemed amusement park involving synthetic androids — riffs on questions about humanity, artificial intelligence and science. Is anything like the tech in the show in the pipeline? To find out, we talked to Heni Ben Amor, a roboticist at Arizona State University and an assistant professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering. Q: How far are we from creating what you see in the show? A: Very far away. I think there are some underlying assumptions that are too far away from what we have at the moment. One of the things depicted there are sentient robots, robots that actually have a very good idea of what they are and what the environment is and what the emotional state of a human partner is. All of these things are not tackled by robotics at the moment. We are too far away from that, especially this aspect of having sentient robots with self-awareness and a goal or a mission that is their own Q: Can a machine act intelligently? A: Definitely. Machines can solve problems humans cannot solve. For example, take the Rubik’s Cube, which for a long time was seen as a tricky task only smart people with dexterity and motor skills can solve. Nowadays



robots are much better than humans at that. There are some tasks where robots can achieve super-human results but I think what is so unique about human beings is that they are so adaptive and versatile. Q: One thing that strikes me in talking with you is that when you study robotics, you’re studying humans in a way. A: We are very much inspired by biomechanics in order to figure out how humans manipulate the world, how we walk in the world. It’s very similar to how aerospace engineers study birds in order to get inspiration and basic principles. Once you have those basic principles, you can create an engineered solution and follow the same approach. We as roboticists look at humans in order to get inspiration about modularity. A human being is not one big piece; it’s not this monolithic thing. There are millions of pieces inside that work together in synchrony. Creating synchrony among millions of pieces is actually really tricky. Even the smallest mistake can completely offset the system and make it fail. Despite that, we human beings seem to work perfectly. If I need a robot for a manufacturing environment, then its appearance and behavior needs to be completely different from a robot that roams around the desert to find water. SCOTT SECKEL is a reporter for ASU Now.



All roads lead to Tucson when it comes to tech


he world of driverless vehicles has transformed the world and has changed how we live our lives. Autnomous and connected vehicles as well as smart transportation systems have impacted every aspect of our lives—from the way we travel from home to work to the way we transport goods and services from one city to the next. This techology also has changed how we design and build our urban areas, and we access our rural areas. It has changed how we interact with one another. It is a technological transformation that rivals that of the computer or smart phone. The benefits of smart vehicles are many: fewer traffic accidents and deaths, less traffic congestion, more efficient use of our roadways and transporation systems, and more transportation choices. Today, Arizona is a recognized leader in developing and deploying new transportation technologies. Arizona paved the way by creating policies and legislation to promote the testing of smart vehicles in driving situations. Gov. Doug Ducey then signed an executive order that directed state agencies to enable driverless testing. As part of the order, he allowed our universities to partner with industry leaders such as Goggle and Uber to develop, test and deploy autonomous vehicles. Southern Arizona has a robust cluster of companies developing and producing transportation related products. Much of this technology spun out of The University of Arizona’s Center for Excellence in Transportation. It was the

university that pioneered programs like Metropia, a traffic diverting application that can adjust traffic signals to be priority-based and is primarily seen aiding emergency first responders. The UA’s engineers and optical scientists have continued to improve sensors, cameras, software and other technology imbedded in today’s driverless vehicles. With technology advancing so rapidly from the university, the UA Tech Park quickly became a national test bed for new smart transportation technology, bringing international industry leaders to southern Arizona. Arizona also has been a leader in the deployment of smart transportation technology, including the design and construction of smart roads and railways such as Arizona’s high speed passenger rail line from Flagstaff to Nogales through Phoenix and Tucson. Interstate 11, part of the CANAMEX Corridor, is the nation’s first smart interstate highway and the Sonoran Corridor is the nation’s first smart freight corridor. Arizona’s economy boomed with efficiencies in transportation and the movement of goods. The state became the leading entry point for goods and services entering the U.S. marketplace. International businesses flocked to the southwest and the Tucson-Phoenix region grew to be the No. 1 metropolitan area in the United States. And to think, it all started with a researcher’s idea to build a self-driving vehicle. BRUCE A. WRIGHT is associate vice president of Tech Parks






DNA testing technology targets species conservation Faith Walker


unique new DNA barcoding tool developed by researchers from Northern Arizona University’s Bat Ecology and Genetics Lab is generating widespread interest by mainstream and scientific news outlets—both nationally and internationally—ranging from the Natural Resources Defense Council to mental_floss. Most importantly, the new technology has generated considerable interest from federal and state agencies, mining and wind companies and international non-governmental organizations focused on bat research and conservation. An interdisciplinary research team led by co-directors Faith Walker, senior research scientist, and Carol Chambers, professor in the NAU School of Forestry, developed the new tool that they call “Species from Feces.” The team recently published an article detailing their genetic assay in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. “Many bat species are endangered but their small size, nocturnal nature and ability to fly can make bats difficult to study and identify,” says Walker. “However, their fecal pellets, known as guano, are a readily available source of DNA that can be collected in a non-invasive way from roosts even when the bats are absent.” Samples are typically collected inside mines and caves and under bridges. The tool—for which a patent is currently pending—identifies bat species from DNA in their guano, borrowing genomic sequencing and bioinformatics methods recently used in



studies of microbial communities. The assay can be applied to guano samples containing DNA from multiple species and with samples of unknown age. As only a small DNA segment called a mini-barcode needs to be sequenced, the tool is rapid and inexpensive. “This is a genetic assay that can take guano from a bat roost and determine all the species that contributed to the sample, and can do so for bat species from around the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Pacific Islands and the Americas,” says Walker. “With global declines in bat populations and emerging diseases such as white-nose syndrome in North America, it is increasingly important to know where specific species are roosting, and to verify identification of species that appear similar.” To further bat research and conservation globally, the Bat Ecology and Genetics Lab offers species identification services and has developed a database that enables users to determine whether Species from Feces can identify species that interest them. What’s next for the Bat Ecology and Genetics Lab? Walker and the team are now developing a portable version of the tool called Species from Feces Mobile. “The mobile tool enables scientists to go to remote places all over the world to genetically search caves and other roosts for critically endangered bats using guano samples,” says Walker. “They can sequence the samples right there in the field with palm-sized sequencers.”



Alliance created to find valley fever treatments for dogs


he Arizona Humane Society (AHS), the state’s largest animal welfare and protection agency, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a world leader in disease research, have forged a partnership to help advance pet health. The partnership’s initial goal is to sign up as many pet families as possible for a TGen study called Valley Fever P.A.W.S. (Prevention, Awareness, Working for Solutions) that seeks new treatments for dogs with valley fever, a dust-born disease that is endemic in the deserts of central and southern Arizona. “In our commitment to serving the Valley’s ill and injured homeless pets, we strive to find innovative ways to save more pets and advance their quality of life, and we are eager to collaborate with TGen on tackling valley fever starting right here in Arizona,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, president and CEO of the Arizona Humane Society.” Each year AHS rescues, heals, adopts and advocates for thousands of homeless, injured, abused and abandoned animals. “Partnering with the Arizona Humane Society allows TGen to establish a basis for health-related projects to benefit our fourlegged friends in search of loving families,” says Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen president and research director. “Starting with valley fever, this partnership has the potential to not only help our pet companions but also to translate what we learn about our pets into valuable information that can help humans, as well.” Through TGen’s Dog and Human Precision Medicine initiative, TGen has worked for nearly a decade to make a substantial contribution to helping the health of our canine friends. Besides valley fever, dogs and humans get many of the same diseases, including cancers and neurological disorders,

and treatments developed for one could potentially help the other. TGen plans to examine the DNA from the saliva of many dogs of different breeds, both with and without valley fever, Dr. Jeffrey Trent says Dr. Bridget Barker, TGen assistant professor of pathogen genomics and head of TGen’s Northern Arizona Center for Valley Fever Research. TGen scientists hope to discover the molecular underpinnings of valley fever and how to produce better treatments for this disease, which infects an Dr. Steven Hansen estimated 150,000 people— mostly in Arizona each year. The initial step in this research is having pet parents register their dogs on TGen’s Valley Fever P.A.W.S. webpage: So far, more than 1,200 dogs have been registered with TGen. Owners of registered dogs could be contacted to provide a saliva sample that would be used in TGen research. Valley fever is an infection caused by the microscopic fungus Coccidioides, which lives in desert soils and typically enters the body through the lungs. Nearly 60 percent of infected people—and other mammals, especially dogs— develop no significant symptoms from exposure to Valley Fever. However, some infected patients develop highly debilitating symptoms, such as cough, fever and fatigue. Very severe valley fever can require lifelong treatment with antifungal drugs. STEVE YOZWIAK is the senior science writer for the Translational

Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Connect at



NEW MEMBERS Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits is a unifying association formed to advance the common interests of more than 20,000 nonprofits in the Grand Canyon State. Arizona Advanced Technology Solutions’ goal is to serve the needs ofl companies seeking to leverage newer technology in areas such as enterprise IT strategy and planning, and big data strategy and architecture. www.azadvtech,com Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Avantgarde Partners is a boutique security consultancy that delivers operationalized security programs for both public and hybrid cloud environments. Avisolve is a value-added reseller with a strong local presence and a national reach within the information technology space. AZ Finance Group is committed to helping clients achieve their goals and expand by using proven, understandable strategy with the highest caliber of execution and service. Banner Health exists to make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care at 20 hospitals and other facilities in seven western states. Beacon Group provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities through businesses that include contract mechanical assembly, cable and wire harness assembly, fulfillment, and facilities services.



To join the Arizona Technology Council, a member-supported group that represents the interests of the state’s technology community, go the

Black Chamber of Arizona serves as a cornerstone for educational training, resource programs and economic growth opportunities with a specific emphasis on “Business in Action.”

CFD Research Corporation develops cutting edge technologies and provides innovative solutions for aerospace, biomedical, cybersecurity, defense, energy, life sciences, materials, and other industries.

BMC Software is a global leader in innovative software solutions that enable businesses to transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage.

Cherwell Software delivers IT service management, workforce and business enablement solutions that allow information technology to become a true partner to the business.

Brocade Technology Company specializes in routers and switches optimized for data centers, campus and carrier environments, IP network fabrics, network functions virtualization, and software-defined networking. Cable ONE Advertising will build your comprehensive digital marketing strategy from the ground up, including developing your website (desktop and mobile), creating social media accounts, and video. Carbon CLIP Technology created the first 3D printer to carefully balance light with oxygen to rapidly produce isotropic parts with mechanical properties and surface finishes that reflect injection-molded plastics. Career Transition Pros’ steadfast commitment to excellence partnered with a matchless passion and dedication for providing up-to-date job search techniques has helped many to discover their next career. CBRE offers corporate services such as lease vs. purchase analysis, indepth market research, tax incentives advisory, site selection, and negotiation of lease terms that include rental rate, tenant improvement allowance, termination options and expansion rights.

Chromis has seasoned telephony consultants who take the time to craft a custom telephony solution based on the customer’s needs. Citrix enables the secure and reliable delivery of applications and data over public, private or hybrid clouds or networks to virtually any type of device. City of Prescott serves 40,000 residents. ClaimTrak Systems provides a practice management/electronic health record software solution for behavioral health clinics. cloudIT designs and implements the best solution for customers, taking care of their daily IT needs and building a long-term relationship. Co.Innovation Consulting uses collaboration technologies and specialized software tools to design and facilitate meeting and multimeeting processes for the private, public and non-profit sectors. Cranial Technologies is the only company in the world solely dedicated to treating infants with plagiocephaly.

NEW MEMBERS CREO Capital Advisors is a regional middle market investment bank with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, private placements, and advisory services.

Glasswall Solutions has developed a disruptive, innovative and groundbreaking security technology that provides absolute protection against file-based cyber threats.

DB Wilson LLC is a biotechnology consulting firm with expertise in U.S. and international development of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and diagnostic products.

Hathority offers cloud-based integration solutions; expert technical consulting and technical support for multi-platform projects; and client-centered solutions, responsive customer service and right-sized development.

Desert Schools is committed to helping members achieve their financial goals by providing innovative tools, resources, products and services that uniquely address the needs of our community.

Homebell is revolutionizing the way homeowners create the house of their dreams by providing customers with highly professional, reliable and convenient home improvement services.

DidjaCloud offers a cloud-based platform to provide consumer TV apps and links to TV companies.

Hydronalix company builds the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard (EMILY), a robotic lifeguard.

Edgemakers offers an interdisciplinary, and challengeand project-based learning system currently delivered to students in middle schools, high schools and institutions of higher learning in the United States, Brazil, Colombia and India.

Impact Video Cards creates a video business brochure that combines a high-quality marketing video with a printed marketing message in one easy to distribute package to help companies stand out.

Enliven Production Group is a fullservice event design company that specializes in technical production, content delivery and branding for corporate meetings, conferences and special events. Exponent is a multi-disciplinary engineering and scientific consulting firm that brings together more than 90 different disciplines to solve important engineering, science, regulatory and business issues.

Incyphae develops medical software for human signal processing applications to better diagnose and treat patients. Instant Data Centers designs, produces and manufactures micromodular data centers. IT Partners helps create an agile, hybrid IT service-delivery model that incorporates the security and reliability of on-premise infrastructure as well as the flexibility and scalability of public cloud.

LAI International, Inc. is a leading contract manufacturer of makecomplete, precision-engineered components and assemblies for aerospace, power generation, defense, medical and other advanced technology industries. Lunsford Companies helps inventors and companies to elevate the deployment of products and services through the phases of research, development, design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing. Lyft is your friend with a car, instantly connecting passengers in need of a ride to nearby drivers with the tap of a button. Malwarebytes is the global standard for advanced malware protection and remediation with cutting-edge technologies to clean up malware that other security products may have missed. MSI Tec is a high tech distributor of industrial automation components, serving a wide variety of industries that include general factory automation, and semiconductor and medical device manufacturing. NetGrowth Partners provide a comprehensive portfolio of information technology and business process optimization professional services. Network Hardware Supply Distribution empowers IT procurement professionals and engineers to build their ideal networks through various purchasing and asset recovery options. Nuvem is a software/application manufacturer and consulting firm focused in cloud adoption, and IT architecture governance.



NEW MEMBERS Quadmark makes companies successful by inspiring transformation and pushing productivity through training and coaching, sales enablement and business consulting.

Solutions For Veterans is the manufacturer of newly patented and patents pending robotic safety equipment for the global professional landscaping and tree farming industry.

Real Time Freight, a member of Internet Truckstop Group, is a pioneer and proven leader in providing freight transportation technology. www.

Study Sauce lets students reduce study time, remember longer and view the insights of education any time.

Silicon Forest Electronics provides engineering and manufacturing solutions for electronic systems in aerospace, military, unmanned systems, medical and industrial markets. www. SilverSkys Professional Services is a contract resourcing firm providing technology and engineering experts for direct hire, project and variable staffing requirements. SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure delivers enterprise performance, protection and resiliency, with better economics than public cloud. SNEAKY BIG Studios is a state-ofthe-art video production facility with a 4,000-square foot sound stage, five editing suites, 4K cameras and multicamera live broadcast capabilities. SocialSEO provides expert digital marketing services such as SEO, pay per click, and marketing and social media to local businesses, eCommerce retailers and enterprise national brands. Solar Pool Technologies combines solar power and robotics to create products that reduce the cost and hassle of keeping a swimming pool clean for customers in 44 states and 18 countries.


To join the Arizona Technology Council, a member-supported group that represents the interests of the state’s technology community, go the


Syncrement is an ad tech company whose mission is to drive truly incremental revenue for advertisers. Technical Optics serves businesses involved in industrial manufacturing, instrumentation and product development in the tech sector who need to apply optical technologies. Technologyville provides turnkey IT solutions for small and medium-sized businesses while using state-of-theart systems and network monitoring to provide a proactive support style in solving problems. TRL Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in world-class entrepreneurs and compelling opportunities, with target verticals such as aerospace, additive manufacturing and Internet of Things. The College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) at The University of Arizona’s School of Architecture is the nation’s leader in sustainable design and planning for arid regions. Unanet is a leading provider of cloud and on-premise software for projectbased organizations by using a Project ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution that streamlines the project life cycle from bid to bill.

Unió Digital is a full-service information technology and digital marketing company offering comprehensive web design and development, search engine optimization, and managed IT services. The College of Optical Sciences at The University of Arizona is one of the premier educational and research institutions in optics and photonics worldwide. Verizon is setting itself up both to support the growth of Internet of Things businesses and to establish new ones itself. Videoloco is a video production company focused on products and services to make video accessible to businesses of all sizes. WorkBubble uses psychographic analysis and quantitative data to help companies make great hiring decisions by matching candidates and companies based on their culture and environment. ZEDventures is an enterprise product and solution company with a focus on decision science, business analytics, and big data through converting data into actionable business insights. Zendesk is the leading omni-channel customer engagement software solution with more than 80,000 customers such as Gilt Groupe, Uber and Disney.




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Join the Arizona Technology Council for its inaugural MedTech Conference bringing together healthcare innovators, influential policy makers, and healthcare service professionals committed to promoting and supporting the industry in a uniquely multifaceted environment. The MedTech Conference seeks to advance industry discussion from key perspectives through expert panel sessions, keynote speakers, and product exhibits to provide opportunities in education, business development, capital formation, and networking.



Thursday, February 23, 2017 1:00PM-6:30PM

Spear Education 7201 E Princess Blvd Scottsdale, AZ 85255

AZTC MEMBER: $50 | NON-MEMBER: $75 Please visit to register today!

Tech Connect Winter 2017  
Tech Connect Winter 2017