In today's fast-paced, global knowledge economy, Arizona is focused on cultivating and sustaining specialized areas of expertise where it can be a world leader. The goal is to drive economic growth through areas of focus. In the current global economy, advances in technology and solar energy are shaping Arizona for a robust future.
Vision of a Solar Capitol
The U.S. solar market is dramatically expanding and is poised to become the largest in the world. Now is Arizona's time to advance in renewable energy - to become a solar capital of the world. Indeed, the state is experiencing a boom in the renewable energy industry - both in manufacturing and generation projects. This success has been fueled by China-based Suntech Power Holdings' decision to locate its first U.S. photovoltaic panel manufacturing plant in the metro-Phoenix community of Goodyear.
"With our Goodyear facility, we have the opportunity to design a truly innovative module manufacturing center that can accelerate innovation, allowing us to deploy new products designed to meet the burgeoning U.S. solar market," said Steven Chan, Chief Strategy Officer at Suntech.
The state is focused on next-generation advances in solar, and ensuring an adequate work force exists as industry demand increases. ASU's School of Sustainability - the nation's first - offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in sustainability. And Solar Technology Institute at Science Foundation Arizona supports research and collaboration within the universities and private sector to advance commercialization of the highest potential solar innovation technologies.
Next-generation electronics and ICT industries also flourish with a large presence of microelectronics and software firms, including Intel, Agilent Technologies, and Microchip Technologies, as well as a pipeline of emerging technologies stemming from state universities.
Arizona is an ideal base for companies that need to reach out to the world. That's one reason Avnet, one of today's largest business-to-business distributors of electronic components and systems, moved to Phoenix.
"In Arizona, we enjoy a dynamic business climate and a wonderful quality of life that not many other cities can match, making it easier for Avnet to attract and retain a talented work force," said Roy Vallee, CEO of Avnet.
With an average age of 34, Arizona offers a high-quality, young and talented work force that supports the research and development necessary to keep up with accelerating product cycles and global competition.
Competitive Business Environment
A "fund of funds" was recently launched to raise and manage up to $200 million for private venture-capital investments in early-stage bioscience and technology firms in Arizona. In addition, companies find a series of tax relief measures designed to attract, expand, and retain high-value, high-growth companies. The State's Angel Investment Tax Credit aims to increase funding benefiting Arizona's emerging companies, by providing $20 million in income tax credits to investors. The Sales Factor Bill allows multi-state businesses doing business in Arizona to opt to "super-weight" their sales factor to reduce income tax liability to the state. In addition, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance rates in Arizona are among the lowest in the nation.
More than ever, business leaders are recognizing Arizona as a prime location for expanding, innovative companies. Connect to key resources by contacting the Arizona Commerce Authority.