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Growing Arizona:
TRIF at work at ASU

Arizona’s Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) fuels research and innovation at our state’s public universities, advancing our state’s economy today and into the future.

How TRIF benefits Arizona

TRIF investment creates an ecosystem that empowers businesses to succeed in our state. Arizona’s long-term commitment to research attracts and generates companies that advance emerging technologies and helps them stay ahead of disruptive trends.

Our universities provide the talent, knowledge and infrastructure companies need to thrive in competitive industries. In turn, they create stable, high-wage jobs and invest in their communities — a “virtuous cycle” of economic growth and human well-being for generations to come.

TRIF impact at Arizona State University

At ASU, TRIF funding supports projects and initiatives in health, sustainability, national security and space exploration, and workforce development. ASU transforms these investments into big gains for Arizona. Programs seeded by TRIF go on to attract significant federal and philanthropic funding, recruit exceptional talent, and create new products and businesses that generate high-quality jobs.


$2.57 billion

in external funding attracted, a threefold return on investment


graduate students and postdocs and 9,800+ undergraduate students trained


U.S. patents issued


startup companies launched

Saving lives and improving health

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Circular DNA takes center stage in a deadly form of cancer, research shows

A circular form of DNA, known as extrachromosomal DNA, often contains genes that can turbocharge the development of cancer while dampening the immune system’s capacity to cope with the assault.

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New study on DNA transcription uncovers links to neurodegenerative disease

In a first-of-its-kind study, Professor Michael Lynch joins a multi-institute group of researchers to investigate transcription error rates in human cells and the underlying mechanisms affecting them.

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First-of-its-kind instrument officially ushers in new era of X-ray science

ASU has officially begun a new chapter in X-ray science with a newly commissioned, first-of-its-kind instrument that will help scientists see deeper into matter and living things. The device, called the compact X-ray light source (CXLS), marked a major milestone in its operations as ASU scientists generated its first X-rays.

Creating solutions for air, water and energy

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Using solar farms to generate fresh desert soil crust

Biocrusts play a crucial role in maintaining soil health and ecosystem sustainability, but they are currently under assault from human activities and climate change. ASU researcher Ferran Garcia-Pichel and his students have proposed using new and existing solar energy farms as nurseries for generating fresh biocrust.

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New web tool maps regional heat vulnerability, health data

The Cool Region Webtool maps heat vulnerability data and also provides insights into potential solution strategies.

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Destroying ‘forever’ chemicals in water

PFAS lurk in tap water in all 50 states and more than half of American homes. Inside an ASU laboratory, researchers have rendered the toxic chemicals biodegradable — and harmless.

Protecting human safety and security

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Building the microelectronics manufacturing blueprint

Professor Hongbin Yu is leading Phase 0 of DARPA's Next-Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing program. The program will develop systems to build 3D heterogeneously integrated devices in the U.S. This technology uses a new architecture that can improve chip efficiency compared to current 2D and 3D designs.

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How universities can support the National Defense Strategy

ASU News spoke with Nadya Bliss, the executive director of the Global Security Initiative, about the role of critical and emerging technologies in geopolitical competition and how universities can support these priorities.

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Trust, but verify: The quest to measure our trust in AI

Artificial intelligence has great potential for good — but people working with AI systems may have low trust in them. One ASU research team is testing a tool that could help identify and develop trustworthy AI technology.

Pioneering a new space age

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Preventing space war the focus of cross-sector experts at ASU forum

Representatives from Space Force, academia and policy explore strategies for a more sustainable use of space.

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Designing and making for an interplanetary future

In a new course series from the ASU Interplanetary Initiative, students learn the basics of technology development in makerspaces.

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1st Black woman to pilot a US spacecraft lands new position at ASU

As artist- and explorer-in-residence, Sian Proctor shares her out-of-this-world experience with the ASU community.

Empowering a thriving workforce

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ASU helps chart a course for Arizona’s space industry

The first Arizona Space Summit, hosted by Arizona State University, connected industry, academia and policymakers to help propel the state’s space industry to new heights.

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ASU launches new quantum research collaborative

Initiative to promote understanding of quantum technology and build a workforce around this burgeoning field.

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Defense under secretary visits ASU MacroTechnology Works

Shyu, others at roundtable discuss pressing national security needs of research and fabrication, supply chain and workforce development

How TRIF is funded

In 2000, Arizona voters approved a 0.6 cent sales tax increase to raise funds for education through Proposition 301. In 2018, Gov. Doug Ducey extended the sales tax increase for an additional 20 years by signing SB 1390. While the majority of the revenue goes to K-12 education, a small portion of the fund fuels research, workforce development and technology transfer at Arizona’s three public universities through TRIF, which is administered by the Arizona Board of Regents.