(Tucson, Arizona) After thirty-two years of working for the University of Arizona, Associate Vice President Bruce A. Wright is retiring from Tech Parks Arizona.
Wright joined the University of Arizona in the late 1980s and served in several capacities, including Director of the Office of Community and Public Service, Assistant to the President, Senior Officer for Community Affairs and Economic Development, and Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Associate Vice President, Office of University Research Parks and Associate Vice President, Tech Parks Arizona and CEO for Campus Research Corporation.
Wright brought a vision to the University and community that provided an economic development tool to build a technology-based economy in the region. Since the inception of the UA Tech Park in 1994, Wright has been resourceful in directing the University’s Research Parks. Under Wright’s leadership, the UA Tech Park developed into an economic powerhouse – growing technology companies and providing high-quality jobs for the region. The UA Tech Park is one of the leading research parks in the United States and was recognized as the most Outstanding Research Park in 2001 by the Association of University Research Parks.
“Bruce Wright took a new concept for the University of Arizona in 1994 and made the UA Tech Park at Rita Road an economic power house and recognized leader among university research parks,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “Bruce’s devotion to economic development and his entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in numerous initiatives benefitting the University, Tucson community and State of Arizona, and he has built a strong foundation for the future. We are all incredibly grateful for his service and leadership.”
Wright has been instrumental in building University, industry and community partnerships for over three decades. He has also contributed significantly to building Tucson’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. As an advocate for technology commercialization both for the University and the greater Tucson region as well. He helped foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University. Wright was instrumental in the development of Innovation Day at the UA, which acknowledged and encouraged the entrepreneurial spirit across the UA campus for ten years. The event was successful in establishing a more entrepreneurial environment and culture among faculty, staff and students. Celebrating entrepreneurship within the UA was key to encouraging the University to move research from the lab to the market place. He also founded the first incubator in Tucson, the Tucson Technology Incubator in the late 1990s. When that organization dissolved, he worked to create a different and more sustainable model for technology incubation. Today, the Arizona Center for Innovation (AzCI) is one of the longest continuously operating incubators in the state of Arizona and helps both university and community startups launch technology-based businesses.