The region's bio-industry is the theme of this evening's 11th annual Cox Communications East Valley Economic Forum at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa.
The East Valley Partnership event will focus on the East Valley's role in Arizona’s “biofuture,” and how that industry will affect this region's economy over the next 20 years. About 450 business, education and civic leaders from across the East Valley and Phoenix will attend the forum, which starts at 6 p.m. in the Main Ballroom.
“There are so many things in the full technical, bio process that are coming to the Valley and we wanted to craft a dialogue that says what the future could hold,” said Roc Arnett, president and CEO of the East Valley Partnership.
George Poste, who was named the 2004 Scientist of the Year by R&D Magazine, will provide information on advances in the biosciences and what they will mean to the regional economy.
He is director of the Arizona Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, and specializes in the application of genomic technologies in health care.
Also speaking will be Glen Vaughn, director of strategic technology at Medtronic, a leading developer of implantable medical devices. He will discuss the process of converting technological breakthroughs into life-changing products.
“We wanted to give those two full perspectives as to what's in the future and what does that really mean as to future bio-technical availability in the East Valley,” Arnettt said.
“If you take all of technology, about 45 percent of those companies are in the East Valley, so it's just natural that they would continue to grow. We've got such a head start that it will be a phenomenal development over the next 20 years.” Eddie Basha of Basha's, Jim Nelson of Salt River Project and former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano will receive the Cox Communications Excel Awards for excellence in leadership.
“Eddie Basha was one of the founders of the East Valley Partnership and in addition to that he has been a phenomenal supporter of education and business, and has been very instrumental in helping the East Valley and the East Valley Partnership move forward,” Arnett said.
“For the last 10 years, Neil, on one level or another, has been one of the key leaders that has driven transportation in the East Valley.”
Nelson has long been involved in the economic development of Apache Junction, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert, Arnett said.
In addition, Scottsdale economist Elliott Pollack will present the Tribune East Valley Economic Outlook.