Flinn Scholars News

Prop. 301 funds pay dividends for ASU research

Summary:

A report examining how effectively Arizona State University used its 2003 Proposition 301 money shows signs that the university is making important strides in building its knowledge economy.

Full Story:

A report examining how effectively Arizona State University used its 2003 Proposition 301 money shows signs that the university is making important strides in building its knowledge economy.

The report, entitled "New Returns on Investment in the Knowledge Economy: Proposition 301 at Arizona State University, FY2003," analyzes ASU's science and technology research under its second year of Prop. 301 funding in terms of new money, new programs, new ventures, new skills, and new talent.

Some examples of ASU's accomplishments mentioned in the report include:

  • $9.1 million in new external funding attracted by research projects
  • 13 new research collaborations formed with industry partners and national laboratories
  • 17 new patents approved, three new products in the marketplace, and three new companies spun off
  • 33 newly-degreed graduate students and 19 post-docs entered the workforce
  • An internationally recognized research leader, George Poste, recruited to direct the Arizona Biodesign Institute

A key accomplishment was the creation last April of the university's technology commercialization group, Arizona Technology Enterprises. Rob Melnick, associate vice president for economic affairs at ASU, told the Business Journal that the addition of AzTE has been a big help to ASU, and that President Michael Crow deserves much of the credit for focusing Prop. 301 money in areas where it will have major, positive effects.

"He has put us leaps and bounds ahead of where we would be other wise," said Melnick. "He's had a huge impact because before he arrived, we had to spread the money around reasonably wide. He consolidated it in the Arizona Biodesign Institute."

Prop. 301 is a 20-year, 0.6 percent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2000. ASU received $25.2 million in Prop. 301 funds in fiscal year 2003, $10.4 million of which was carried over from its $15.2 million allocation in 2002.

A major purpose of the funding was to help stem the "brain drain" of the late 1990s and earlier this decade, when highly regarded faculty were leaving ASU for better compensation at other schools.

"Prop. 301 has made us a much more attractive place to be," Melnick told the Business Journal. "We wouldn't have been able to get the George Postes of the world without it."


For more information:

"Prop. 301 funds help to build ASU's research clout," Business Journal, 03/05/2004

"New study presents ASU's 'year two' results of public Investments in science and technology research for Arizona's knowledge economy," Morrison Institute for Public Policy press release, 02/25/2004

Morrison Institute Report: "New Returns on Investment in the Knowledge Economy: Proposition 301 at Arizona State University, FY2003"

Morrison Institute for Public Policy