Organization Overview

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IRS Information

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a tax exempt non profit under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Attached is the IRS verification letter.  Tax returns are available in the SFAz office or

downloadIcon Download SFAZ IRS Letter


Q:  How are research and education investment awards determined?

A:  An RFP is issued which spells out the specifics of any grant to be awarded.  Proposals then go through a rigorous external peer review process to ensure the research or educational effort proposed would be competitive with the best in the world.  Finally, the SFAz Board reviews the proposal, the input from the peer review process and other information before making the final determination on awards.

Q: How do I apply for a research grant?
A:  See Grant Opportunities

Impacting Arizona

We connect Arizona researchers and businesses to strengthen Arizona’s economy.

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Mission and History

azmap-altSFAz-GreyScience 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 workforce.  The CEO groups funded the core operating costs of the organization for the first five years, while grant funds were raised from government, industry and the philanthropic community.  SFAz has now 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 1,865 direct jobs, 207 patents filed and/or issued, 24 technology companies formed in Arizona and 23 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 385,000 students and more than 10,656 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 meaningful engagements.

Business Model and Governance

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.

Grant Process

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.

Our People

Board of Directors
The Science Foundation Arizona board of directors is comprised of distinguished and respected leaders from Arizona, as well as highly talented experts in academia, R&D and business from the United States and internationally. Meet the Board

Independent Audit Committee
The Science Foundation Arizona Independent Audit Committee is comprised of a group of highly respected and dedicated accounting and business professionals. Meet our Independent Audit Committee

The staff at Science Foundation Arizona bring a wide range of expertise and diverse backgrounds in the scientific, medical, education and engineering fields, as well as public policy and non profit management. Meet the Staff


We target our research investments to areas with high-impact commercial potential:

  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Clean Energy
  • Biomedical Research
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To secure our competitiveness in the New Economy, Arizona needs to build a 21st Century work force. That’s why SFAz invests heavily in education.

Arizona STEM Network
Supports Arizona students and teachers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

Rural & Remote Initiative
Bringing STEM to the remote corners of Arizona.

Graduate Research Fellowships
Attract world-class talent to Arizona institutions.

Bisgrove Post Doctoral Scholars Program
Will attract and grow young scientific and engineering talent in Arizona.

STEM Education

In August 2008, SFAz began operating a new entity, the SFAz STEM Initiative, that is focusing on science and math education.   Created in collaboration with several public and private education partners, SFAz STEM is building education excellence in the focus areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  Recently, the SFAz STEM Initiative has been asked to lead the Arizona STEM Network, a statewide effort whose goal is to ensure Arizona’s ability to educate, attract and foster a globally competitive work force.

The Future

SFAz continues to play a pivotal role in delivering and managing an investment strategy in purpose-driven innovation, research and education to spur greater businesses opportunities, further investments and new technology sector growth.

Private donations fund our operating budget, education and research efforts.

Contact Us / Newsletter

Thank you for contacting us. We will respond as soon as we can. -SFAz