Governor Jan Brewer Announces Funding for the State’s Aerospace and Defense Industry

Science Foundation Arizona to spearhead effort to enrich research and development


PHOENIX, AZ (October 15, 2010)  Citing Arizona’s potential to become a world-class center for aerospace and defense (A&D) industries, Governor Jan Brewer this week allocated $1.3 million to boost the state’s A&D industry and help the state become more globally competitive in this growing and fast-paced sector.


“Arizona has a rich history in the aerospace and defense industry – through our excellent reputation and corporate A&D presence statewide that provides well-paying, stable jobs for our state’s citizens,” said Governor Brewer. “With a coordinated and streamlined plan for this important employment sector, we can take that to the next level and be the future hub for aerospace and defense, where companies from around the globe will want to do business.”


The funds will be administered through Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz), a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting economically viable and promising scientific research in the state. The funding will be used for two purposes: 1) to establish and incubate a statewide Aerospace and Defense Initiative to develop a coordinated strategy for continued growth in A&D (includes implementing recommendations identified by the Governor’s Aerospace and Defense Commission); and 2) for investments in research and aerospace programs through university-industry partnerships.


“The Governor’s support for research and development of critical industries sends a strong message that Arizona is a committed partner for the advancement of science and innovation,” said William C. Harris, president and CEO of SFAz. “This investment will help create a culture that the state is competitive in the 21st century economy.”


The Aerospace and Defense Initiative will utilize the state’s resources and expertise in the A&D industry from Prescott, Tucson, Phoenix and military installations statewide. Research and development projects will be funded through nonprofit, research-performing entities through a dollar-for-dollar match from A&D industries.


An Arizona State University report found the aerospace and defense industry’s contributions to the economy are substantial, with an estimated direct and indirect impact of more than $8.7 billion in 2009 alone. Additionally, the study found A&D affects a total of 94,000 jobs, within the industry and in sectors that support workers and their families (The Economic Impact of Aerospace and Defense Firms on the State of Arizona, September 2010, Center for Competitiveness and Prosperity Research, L. William Seidman Research Institute, W.P. Carey School of Business). The average wage for an A&D industry employee is approximately $67,000, nearly twice that of the average Arizona worker ($38,154, AZ Aerospace, Defense and Avionics Industries Study, Angle Technology Group, 2008).


Grant funds are from the Governor’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) Discretionary monies allocated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.


Media Contact

Nicole McTheny, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 845-1231, [email protected]


About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.