Arizona Technology and Innovation: Innovation Arizona Summit

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The Innovation Arizona Summit is an event where the lifecycle of innovation, from idea to commercialization, is explored. Arizona SciTech and the Arizona Commerce Authority host the event, which will feature 20 sessions, 50 exhibitors and 1,000 attendees, all there to learn and teach about technology and getting it to market. Jeremy Babendure, executive director of the Arizona SciTech Festival, will tell us more.

TED SIMONS: Tonight's edition of Arizona technology and innovation looks at the Innovation Arizona Summit, which explores how to get high tech ideas to market. Arizona Sci-tech and the states commerce authority will host the event. Joining us now is Jeremy Babendure, executive director of the Arizona Sci-tech Festival. Good to see you again.

JEREMY BABENDURE: Great, thanks for having me here.

TED SIMONS: The innovation Arizona summit, what is that?

JEREMY BABENDURE: That I see a unique opportunity that Arizona has teamed up, pulling -- the cycle of innovation from the workforce, students to teachers to communities to businesses to really pull together pathways of what's going on in the community.

TED SIMONS: When we're talking life cycle of innovation, you're talking from lightbulb going on over the head to getting that thing on a shelf somewhere.

JEREMY BABENDURE: Right and we have some really unique sessions that pull it together. So, for example, one of them is on cyber security. So we have students that are at ASU doing research to Jamie Witherton who's actually part of the SDI initiative to help do the research on technology to the Mesa cyber warfare range where they're utilizing it in the business and innovation community. So we have people doing short talks and segments to pull it all together from student all the way to the workforce.

TED SIMONS: And these are sessions and exhibits together?

JEREMY BABENDURE: Right we have sessions, there are 20 different sessions, manufacturing month, materials science, an Arizona's got stem talent session to ways people can network and learn from each other about planning events but we also have over 50 exhibitors that are going to be coming. We have a whole space on making so we have about 10 different facilities that are high-level maker facilities, Arizona science center to the Mach one facility are going to be setting up activities for people to make something on site.

TED SIMONS: I was going to say, you may have a great idea but in order to get that thing to market or get a commercialization or wherever it's going to go, you have to make the thing first.

JEREMY BABENDURE: Right. There's a lot of facilities in Arizona like tech shop where people can actually make something, pilot it out, so we have a lot of the people that are in that space at the summit, as well.

TED SIMONS: And so you have business, industry, administration, government, ngos and more?

JEREMY BABENDURE: We've had students be part of it, too. So last year, we had about 100 middle and high school students even attend to get them inspired but we had people that were entrepreneurs, basically the whole continuum of our business ecosystem is there.

TED SIMONS: Who exactly is this event targeting?

JEREMY BABENDURE: I would say it's all different levels of it and so if you're a teacher and you're really wondering where future businesses are going, what you want to train your students, that would be something. If you're a business and trying to connect with educators, that's something. If you're trying to get more inspiration on business and innovation, that's an audience and so it really is I think the unique nature is it pulls a lot of these audiences that typically would be isolated conferences together.

TED SIMONS: We just had the Phoenix consul general here, saying things like aerospace and technology, Mexico is looking for trade partners in those areas and seeing Arizona as a player. Are we becoming a player?

JEREMY BABENDURE: I mean, from a lot of the pathways that we have like cybersecurity, one of them we already are a player. There's a lot of amazing facilities that we have where we're really emerging out front. Aerospace is another one that you mentioned. Arizona is emerging as a tech giant, aerospace and defense giant.

TED SIMONS: Targeting everyone from tinkerer to someone farther along the line. Before this kind of an event, where did these folks go? What did they do?

JEREMY BABENDURE: I guess I don't know. There's a lot of opportunities that places like Arizona commerce authority has to provide business resources for entrepreneurs and so there are places in Arizona like that where people went but I think having the synergy to pull them together is a unique opportunity.

TED SIMONS: And how do you define -- and, obviously, diverse collaborators here, they're getting together. How do you decide who to invite?

JEREMY BABENDURE: The way that we went about it was looking at the pathways segment. If you take something like manufacturing, making is part of manufacturing, might get a company like P.D.A.T., doing analysis and it might be getting the makers to come in. So I love building it around the content segments and seeing who populates this sector. Material science, it could be getting the research professors that are really doing the cutting-edge research to where you might get a aero-space company to talk about how they're utilizing that material in their business.

TED SIMONS: So where is this event going to be?

JEREMY BABENDURE: The Scottsdale center for the arts. So we have likely 700 attendees have already RSVP-ed. It's a great facility we can bring everybody together into big rooms and also break it up

TED SIMONS: What are the dates?

JEREMY BABENDURE: It's on October 1st. It's this Thursday.

TED SIMONS: It's really just one day, huh? Get down there that day or miss the boat.

JEREMY BABENDURE: People can register on site. They can go online to azscitech.org also find it.

TED SIMONS: One more time with that website.

JEREMY BABENDURE: Azscitech.org.

TED SIMONS: And that's where they can register and get more information.

JEREMY BABENDURE: They can link to the registration page off there.

TED SIMONS: Very good, good luck with the event and good to see you again. We appreciate it.

Jeremy Babendure:Executive director of the Arizona SciTech Festival

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