Dr. Robert C. Robbins

University of Arizona

If you were to be asked by a site selector, what is the best part of doing business in Tucson, what are the areas you would highlight?

Southern Arizona is an incredible place for business with immense potential for growth. The University of Arizona has a proud history of partnering with local, regional and international businesses to benefit Arizona residents, and I am certain that any company seeking a place to innovate and grow will find great success in our state. The University’s partnerships with businesses include potentially offering certificate programs for our industry partner’s employees, transforming University research and innovation into deliverable products and collaborative projects with industry, and providing rich cultural resources that enhance the quality of life for companies and their employees who are looking for a rich environment to live, work and grow.

What are some of the emerging trends in your industry that could have an impact locally on site selectors looking at the Tucson region?

One trend I have noticed begins with our students, who are deeply invested in creating a sustainable future. Future business leaders will need to think about how their companies steward our natural resources and the environment and be part of the sustainable future our students are trying to build. At the University of Arizona, we are proud to partner with local businesses in our sustainability efforts, like the large-scale renewable energy agreement between the University and Tucson Electric Power, which is the largest utility-university renewable energy partnership in North America.

Aside from the areas you would highlight to a site selector, what are you most optimistic about for the future economic development in the region?

I am optimistic when I see our students. They are our future entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators. Our graduates are among the world’s best in every area of education and training, and with University of Arizona alumni throughout our great state, our contributions to the state’s high-tech workforce are a point of pride. And our world-renowned faculty are also a reason to be optimistic – our faculty members work every day on improving the world around us, teaching the next generation, and developing innovative solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. Our students work with our outstanding faculty, and they gain extensive experience in real-world applications of their knowledge, so they graduate ready to make a strong mark in the economic development of our region.


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