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We make connections between Arizona researchers, businesses and educators. Our grants help ensure Arizona’s competitive future by funding research in areas of strategic importance to the state.

Our Research Investments

Biomedical and Bioengineering

This general area of research utilizes biotechnology techniques, biomedical research and engineering with the ultimate goal of developing effective diagnostics and treatments of diseases in both humans and animals.

Biomedical and Bioengineering Highlights

  • Center for FDA and Industry Collaboration
  • Early Warning Technology for Skin Cancer Detection
  • Exercise and Bone Development in Young Girls

Environmental Sustainability

The core purpose of environmental sustainability involves creating technologies, products and processes that advance economic development without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Environmental Sustainability Highlights

  • Sustainable Development of Critical Earth Materials
  • Environmental and Economic Impacts of Material Used in Future Urban Development
  • The Sustainability of Innovative Manufacturing for Arizona: Low- Water and Low- Energy Nano- Manufacturing Processes

Clean Energy Through Technology

This area of research focuses on the development of cost-effective electricity generation processes and fuels with minimal negative impact on the environment, involving a wide range of economic, technological and environmental challenges.

Clean Energy Highlights

  • PEPER- Photovoltaic Environmental Performance and Reliability for the Arizona-Wide Electric Grid
  • Energy Storage: A Critical Component of the System for Renewable Energy Utilization
  • Sustainable Disruptive Technology for Algae-Based Jet Fuel Production in Arizona
  • Arizona Solar Market and Analysis Tool

Information + Communications Technology

Information and communication technologies will continue to play a key role in driving productivity growth, respond to the need for strategic interaction and spur greater global competition.

Information + Communications Technology Highlights

  • An Integrated Design Framework for Application Development on Multi-core Processors
  • Ultralow Voltage Hybrid Polymer/Sol-Gel electro-optic Modulators and Switches for Next-Generation Communication Systems and Networks
  • Nanophotonics Technologies for Next Generation Communication and Information Technology Systems

Competitive Advantage Awards


The Competitive Advantage Awards program invests in researchers of exceptional quality to create a competitive advantage in strategic areas important to Arizona. The purpose of the CAA program is to identify research proposals that have the greatest potential to secure significant federal grants following a Science Foundation Arizona investment award.

The initial CAA investments support outstanding Arizona researchers in three strategic areas: Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Sustainable Systems (SUS) and Biosciences (BIO).

Our Competitive Advantage investments investments provide bridge financing to research projects identified by an independent review panel as having the greatest potential to secure significant federal funding within 18-24 months following the award. The investment focuses on exceptionally meritorious proposals recognized by an expert, extramural federal review, but not funded due to lack of funds in the relevant federal agency.

The program was been expanded to provide new opportunity investments to impact exceptional ideas at an early stage of development.

Small Business Catalytic Investment Program

newwebmanwomanmachine2_sidebarThe purpose of the Small Business Catalytic Investment program(SBC) is to invest in innovation at Arizona’s Research-Performing Institutions (RPI) that will have high impact commercial outcomes and initially in three areas of strategic importance to the state: Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Sustainable Systems (SUS) and Biosciences (BIO).

The Small Business Catalytic investment program provides seed funding to university-based spin-off companies, enabling researchers to secure larger amounts of funding for technology commercialization.  The goal is to catalyze technology development, company formation and high-tech job creation in Arizona.  Companies created as a result of Science Foundation Arizona funding must remain in Arizona for a minimum of five years.

Strategic Research Group

woman-web-working_sidebarThe Strategic Research Group investments seeds partnerships between researchers at research-performing institutions and industry partners in areas of strategic importance to Arizona . The purpose of this investment is to increase the probability of attracting major federal research center funding or large group grants and to work on research problems of significant importance to industry partners.  Each investment proposal must define how it manages and/or leverages intellectual property to the competitive advantage of Arizona.

The Strategic Research Groups Investments seed strategic collaborations between Arizona’s research institutions and industry partners to create economic advantages for the state in the strategic areas of  Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Sustainable Systems (SUS) and Biosciences (BIO).

These investments anchor industry R&D, create commercial products, and increase the probability of attracting major federal research funding and large group grants.  Industry partners are required to match the SFAz investments dollar-for-dollar.

These SRG investments create a competitive advantage for Arizona by creating access to “brainware” and enhancing technology transfer.  The program’s goal is to anchor major industry to the state and position Arizona to attract major federal research center funding and larger group grants.

Bisgrove Scholars Program

Corona_del_Sol_team_picture_web_thumbThe future of Arizona and the nation is linked to the creativity and competitiveness of the next generation of academic researchers in science and engineering.  To this end, SFAz has initiated a program for the recruitment and mentoring of top-tier, post-doctoral scientists and engineers or young faculty in Arizona. This program is named the Bisgrove Post Doctoral Scholar Award (‘Bisgrove Scholars’), in recognition of businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Jerry Bisgrove, who made a $25 million donation to SFAz in 2007 to help create a stronger culture for science and engineering entrepreneurship in Arizona.

Visit the Bisgrove Scholars Page

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