Ireland President Mary McAleese will become the first foreign head of state to visit SkySong, the Arizona State University innovation center in Scottsdale, next Monday.
In addition, Dublin City University President Ferdinand von Prondzynski and Irish ambassador to the United States Michael Collins will be part of the delegation touring the center, which opened in March..
SkySong is designed to help international start-up companies become established in the U.S. Two Irish companies are engaged in research partnerships with ASU that could lead to them establishing offices at the Scottsdale center, said SkySong spokeswoman Alison Bendler. And ASU has established partnerships with Dublin City University in which students from each university cooperate on research projects, she said.
The Irish delegation will meet with ASU President Michael Crow, ASU faculty and Scottsdale community leaders to discuss future U.S.-Irish partnerships, she said. Also President McAleese will speak at a breakfast for invited guests.
One of the Irish companies working with ASU is YouGetItBack, a Web site that provides identification tags for electronic devices such as cell phones and laptop computers and helps in their recovery if they are lost, Bendler said. The company conducted a test of the system at ASU and is interested in expanding the business to the U.S., she said.
The other company, Bookbuzz, produces executive learning programs and has developed a licensing partnership with ASU.
SkySong has set up partnerships with universities, government agencies and private companies in a total of 11 countries.