Innovation Day Celebrates Technology and Research Achievements

Events include an awards luncheon, a panel discussion and a student competition.
March 18, 2008
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UA students in laboratory (Photo by Robert Walker)
UA students in laboratory (Photo by Robert Walker)

The University of Arizona's success in technology development and innovation will be celebrated during the fifth annual Innovation Day, taking place Tuesday.

As part of the event, research achievements by students, faculty and staff will be highlighted.

Innovation Day activities are scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Student Union Memorial Center.

A panel discussion called “UA at the Leading Edge” will showcase prominent UA researchers who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of technology and innovation, including:

  • Ron Weinstein, director of the Arizona Telemedicine Project.
  • Mary Wirth, professor of chemistry and member of BIO5.
  • David Nix, associate professor of pharmacy practice and science and member of BIO5.
  • John N. Galgiani, director of the Valley Fever Center of Excellence and member of BIO5.
  • Rod Wing, professor of plant sciences and member of BIO5.
  • Charles Higgins, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate professor of neurobiology.

The session will be moderated by Jim Gentile, president of Research Corporation, and will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Tucson Room.

The Technology Innovation Awards Luncheon will be held from 11:45 a.m.-1:30 pm in the South Ballroom. The awards being presented include the Technology Innovation Award, the Student Technology Innovation Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Donald Grimm, a director with Hamilton Bioventures and chair man and president of Strategic Design LLC, will serve as this year’s keynote speaker. Grimm was president, CEO and chairman of Hybritech Inc. after its acquisition by Eli Lilly.

While at Hybritech, he orchestrated the development of Prostate Specific Antigen, the most significant new cancer diagnostic test developed for men. He has served on numerous boards of life science companies over the past 14 years. The title of his keynote address is “Entrepreneurship in Life Science: A Thrill a Minute.”

The Innovation Showcase and Student Awards highlights students from across the University. Teams will present their business ideas and compete for prizes. The Innovation Showcase is from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Student Union’s North Ballroom.

Immediately following the Innovation Showcase is a new addition to Innovation Day. Students will be chosen during the Innovation Showcase to present their business plans to various angel groups from across the southwest region. The angel groups are in attendance for the Southwest Regional Angel Summit, being held the day before by the Desert Angels and the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management.

The student presentations will be followed by the Innovation Showcase Recognition Awards and Reception. The presentations will take place from 4-5 p.m. and the awards and reception from 5-6 p.m.

Innovation Day is chaired this year by Henry George, managing partner for Solstice Capital. He has more than 27 years experience in founding, operating and investing in successful, rapid growth technology-related companies.

George was co-founder of Interleaf inc., a pioneer in electronic publishing with $100 million in annual revenues. The company was acquired in 2000 in a stock merger, which valued the company at $900 million.

As the co-founder of Solstice Capital, George has remained active with public and private companies as a director for companies such as High Throughput Genomics, CellzDirect and Amplimed.

All activities are free and open to the public, except for the Technology Innovation Awards Luncheon, to which tickets are no longer available.