The faculty, students and technology surrounding Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at thePrescott Campus represent a unique opportunity to fuel the development of companies, bothexisting and forming, in a variety of exciting fields. These emerging fields; including cybersecurity, intelligence studies, cyber intelligence, autonomous and robotic systems, data science,simulation science, block chain, IoT, supply chain, and software; they will be among the topareas for private and public investment in the coming decades.
Northern Arizona is an ideal location to retain talent and avoid the churn of employees thatsome of the larger tech hubs are experiencing. To that end, a partnership is being developedwith the City of Prescott and Prescott Valley, regional developers, existing tech companies andthe University. Borrowing the best ideas from the MicaPlex project at the Daytona Beachcampus, this Center will form the nucleus for technology growth in the area.
The mission is to attract, create and grow companies that will allow students to remain in thePrescott area bringing economic vitality to the region. The groundwork for this has been in theplanning stages and now the elements are coming together. Several companies will act as“anchor” tenants in the proposed Center bringing an initial cadre of high paying jobs with theambition to grow. The Prescott campus will lease space to support the growth of programs andneed for office and flex space. Another tenant will be the northern Arizona cyber range, a notfor profit educational outreach that will attract audiences from 15 years and up. The center willalso house space for startup concepts and other related activities. Professors and others can actas mentors and advisors while attracting other business, financial, and legal professionals thathave extensive experience prior to moving to Prescott toward the end of their career.
The partnership would be based on land contribution from the University, philanthropicdonations with naming opportunities and building funds from a syndicated group of developersand investors augmented by local, state and federal monies. Similar projects have beensuccessful in California and Georgia with support from governmental allies tapping programsfrom agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Department ofTransportation and the Department of Defense.
The business model allows for return to investors through leasing agreements and shareholdingin the growing companies. The ownership structure would be based on a members LLC withthe ability to accept additional partners and grow beyond the initial building and building site.As the surrounding area including Deep Wells and the Dells grow, companies would expand inthe local vicinity, an example of companies attracted to the region is Eviation. A nearby 17 acreparcel could be the next commercial expansion.
You can read the full project details here.