Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2006 by the State’s 3 CEO groups, in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of state government. SFAz’s mission is to diversify Arizona’s economy by linking industry needs with university research and ensuring the education system creates a 21st century work force. The CEO groups funded the core operating costs of the organization for the first five years, while grant funds are raised from government, industry and the philanthropic community. SFAz has undertaken a strategic philanthropic effort for grant and operational funding.
SFAz has awarded more than 150 individual grants totally over $110M since 2007, which has led to 1,776 direct jobs, 179 patents filed and/or issued, 22 technology companies formed in Arizona and 16 technology licenses in place. Our research grants are highly leveraged, and generate at least $4 for every $1 of state funds invested.
Additionally, SFAz’s STEM initiatives have impacted more than 314,000 students and more than 8,000 teachers. The organization also launched its Arizona STEM Network in 2012 that is designed to integrate STEM learning into classroom and school districts, develop and deploy a predictive analytics system to measure impacts, strengthen teacher effectiveness and create opportunities for business to create meaningfully engagement.
A Board that is composed of 7 leaders from Arizona and 5 national leaders that provide a strong focus on performance that meets the highest international standards lead SFAz. Donald V. Budinger, Chairman, and Craig Barrett, Vice Chairman lead the Board.
Board members are fundamentally and deeply committed to the mission and vision of the organization. Terms are staggered and best practices in board development and governance are actively implemented. These members bring corporate, financial and philanthropic expertise and provide strict oversight for donated and restricted funds. In concept and in practice, the Board model is based on compassionate service, programmatic innovation and organizational sustainability under the umbrella of best practices. Accountability, Board oversight and strict stewardship of donated funds define ongoing resource applications and partnerships with philanthropic investors.
In addition to our Board, SFAz has an Independent Audit Committee that hires and oversees the external auditors. Their summary bios are also on this website Annually, they select grants to be compliance tested to ensure that all grantees know there will be external oversight on their expenditures. Further, they undertake a risk management and self-assessment process annually to ensure SFAz and its grantees are following all best practices.
Our Grant process begins with development on a Request For Proposals (RFP) that is reviewed and approved by the Board. Respondent proposals go through an extensive external peer review to ensure that investments are made in only the highest quality proposals and with a strategic benefit for Arizona. Once a grant has been made, our program officers provide ongoing oversight, and major or multi-year proposals receive additional external peer review at least annually, all of which go to the full Board for final review. Grantees are required to submit regular milestone and expenditure reports. This process ensures that grantees work stays on track. Our program officers work with grantees to correct any deficiencies or address concerns raised in the peer review process. If that fails, a report is made to the Board and they will recommend termination of the grant.
Direct jobs associated with our grants
Leverage of non-state vs. state funding