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Public university research positively impacts economy

Research expenditures at the state's three universities injected nearly $1 billion into the Arizona economy last year, according to an Arizona Board of Regents report.

Though projections were for slightly more than $1 billion, spending on research reached $996.6 million and increased employment in the state according to an ABOR news release.

For more than five years, ASU has been the fastest growing research institution among universities exceeding $100 million in research expenditures, according to the news release.

ABOR developed a series of performance metrics last year to examine the effectiveness of the Arizona university system's research programs. The board evaluated the public universities' economic, social and scholarly impact through statistics such as the amount of money spent on research projects, U.S. patents issued, startup companies created and students who received doctoral degrees.

Though research expenditures did not meet the projected amount for 2011, each of the other evaluated categories exceeded their goal.

ABOR chair and regent Rick Myers said in the news release that research from ASU, NAU and UA provides a "tremendous benefit" to the surrounding communities.

“Research leads not only to transformational discoveries that directly benefit the people of this state and beyond, but it generates jobs, facilitates partnerships, reinvests dollars into the community, attracts top faculty talent, and makes the undergraduate learning experience more rich through instruction and hands-on learning with elite faculty," Myers said.

He said Arizona public university research and its global reach is a "point of pride" for the state.


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