Thursday, September 4, 2003
Molecular Imaging Corp.
Thank you, Vance Nau, for hosting this signing today. The work you do with molecular imaging is a great example of what can be accomplished when we take innovations from the laboratory to the marketplace.
Globalization, innovation, technology commercialization and a highly-skilled technical workforce are critical to economic prosperity in the 21st century. To ensure Arizona's success, I am committed to making Arizona a global leader in the knowledge-based economy. Vance, businesses like yours are transforming Arizona.
To create such an economy that will lead the nation and the world in discoveries and innovation, Arizona must focus on developing policies that foster knowledge and attract talent.
Technology and innovation-based industries need the support of strong educational systems, a highly skilled workforce, and a pro-active entrepreneurial business climate.
That is why I strongly supported House Bill 2304, which will allow universities to take an equity position when transferring technology into the private sector.
This bill will go into effect after - we hope - voters approve of the constitutional amendment necessary to allow universities to exercise this powerful new option. A question to do this will appear on the 2004 general election ballot.
The synergy between our universities and the business community already exists, and Molecular Imaging Corporation is living proof of that. Ten years ago, this corporation was created from Arizona State University research that succeeded in making high-resolution images of DNA and proteins.
That technology, developed right here in Tempe, is being used by chemists, biologists, and pharmaceutical companies the world over. For the first time, scientists observing and actually manipulating individual molecules and single toms in pursuit unprecedented advances in medicines, immunology, and genetics.
As successful as the Molecular Imaging Corporation has been, we must do more to foster growth in Arizona's tech sector. By allowing universities to invest in private ventures, the time it takes for innovations to move from the laboratory to the open market will be significantly shortened.
It's already working in other states and in other countries, and it is time that Arizona retire the arcane clause in its constitution that forbids our universities from taking such a position.
The world economy is changing more rapidly now than ever, and we must create a flexible economy will meet the needs of tomorrow. This bill helps to do that, and I encourage all Arizonans to vote to amend Arizona's constitution in the 2004 general election.
The bill in front of me represent the changes in state statute that will take effect if and when voters approve amending the Arizona Constitution.
I am pleased to be joined today by many members of the university and business communities, as well as the Arizona Legislature. All of you worked very hard to pass this legislation - congratulations. In particular, I would like to thank Representatives David Bradley and Mark Thompson, as well as John Kaites, Mike Gardner, Quinn Williams and William Hardin.
Thank you all for your hard work.