UACI AT ORO VALLEY

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) at Oro Valley is an incubator focused on supporting bioscience startups. It is part of the UACI startup incubator network that has outposts across the Southern Arizona region and a mission to grow scalable science and technology startups that fuel the Arizona economy. For nearly two decades, the program has directly served over 150 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs. This is done through providing access to people, programming and places that help entrepreneurs take their companies from idea to market.

Location

The Town of Oro Valley is where scientific collaboration, technology innovation and business opportunity are surrounded by the stunning Southern Arizona landscape. Oro Valley is already home to global bioscience, health care, and hi-tech companies, many of which are experiencing significant expansions.

The Town of Oro Valley, located northwest of Metro Tucson, is rated one of America’s best cities for its variety of life and bioscience disciplines. The Oro Valley area is a product of “organic” growth stemming from a variety of resources and is an exceptional place to live and work.

Innovation Park, situated in the heart of this growing region, is where the new bioscience incubator, UACI at Oro Valley is located. This location and proximity to business will strategically support an effort to grow more startups in the bioindustry within the Town of Oro Valley.

With this new business incubator in Innovation Park, the Town is poised to help launch and grow new life-science-oriented enterprises along with a diverse mix of new engineering and business services.

This facility will link the University of Arizona innovation ecosystem directly into the heartbeat of Oro Valley’s thriving bioscience sector and into the University of Arizona Veterinary College in Oro Valley.

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation at Oro Valley is paving the way to serve the bioscience entrepreneurial community with the construction of a new facility of 4,000 square feet of office and lab space. This new bioscience incubator has been developed with room for expansion.

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All startups in the UACI network go through a structured program that takes them through a continuum of education provided by mentors, advisors and community collaborators. UACI also provides access to service providers, industry cluster groups, interns and connections to potential customers and strategic partners.

Click the link below to download a copy of our Program Roadmap.

In Oro Valley, entrepreneurs utilize various physical spaces that include OFFICES, COLLABORATION SPACES and a SHARED BIOTECH LABORATORY.

In addition to the space, startup teams have access to shared equipment they would not otherwise have the ability to access alone. Some of this equipment includes:

  • Genpure Pro Water Purification System
  • 4ft and 6 ft Biosafety cabinet
  • Isotemp 3-door Chromatography Refrigerator
  • Chemical Fume hood
  • Sorvall X4 Pro Centrifuge
  • Oven
  • Water bath
  • pH/cond meter
  • Ultra-low freezer
  • Autoclave
  • Precision balance
  • Analytical balance
  • Cell counter
  • 71L Shaking Incubator
  • Pearl Ice Machine
  • Inverted Microscope
  • CO2 Incubator-Dual stacked
  • Automated Liquid handling System
  • -80° Freezer
  • Stir/Hot Plate
  • Plate Centrifuge
  • ThermoCycler
  • Vacuum Desiccator
  • Single channel pipettors
  • Vacuum Aspirator
  • Microplate shaker
  • Microcentrifuge
  • Vortex Mixer

Meet the first startup at Oro Valley.

Theracea Logo

TheraCea Pharma recently won the UACI Sponsored Launch Fueled By BIOSA competition. They have received a sponsored year’s admission at the new bioscience incubator along with a cash prize of $5,000. The total package value is $15,000 and funded by the Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona (BIOSA).

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How we got here

The University of Arizona broke ground on this location on September 4, 2019, with nearly 300 people in attendance.

UACI at Oro Valley Breaks Ground

This support for bioscience companies specifically was identified as a critical need in several reports over the years including the Sun Corridor Report: Securing the Lead 2013 and the Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, produced by the Flinn Foundation in 2019. Business and community leaders came together to develop a non-profit organization with the task to fundraise and facilitate the progression of this incubator, with the main purpose to grow the life science industry sector in Southern Arizona.

“The innovation ecosystem plays a large role in the fourth industrial revolution,” says UA President Robert C. Robbins. “Supporting startups is not one specific event, it is an entire continuum. It begins by encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit from the beginning, advancing research to the point of scientific breakthrough, identifying markets for the new technology, supporting and launching businesses, building corporate connections and thus beginning the cycle all over again to support new ventures. The Ventana Medical Systems founded by Dr. Thomas Grogan, a University of Arizona pathologist, and sold to pharmaceutical giant Roche embodies that innovation continuum. Building on that momentum, we are thrilled to develop the UA incubator in Oro Valley,” said President Robbins.

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