Applied Research Initiative at PEI Advances Arizona’s Innovation Economy

The Partnership for Economic Innovation is on a mission to fulfill our potential as a state to become a world-class, innovation-driven economy. A place where technologies invented in Arizona address complex challenges of our time and all Arizonans have an opportunity and a clear pathway to the ‘good jobs’ of tomorrow’s economy.

Launched in 2019, the Applied Research Initiative is rapidly advancing Arizona toward this future. Through industry-led applied research centers, the initiative bridges the gap between discovery and commercialization with access to non-dilutive funding and entrepreneurial resources. We empower Arizona's innovators to turn groundbreaking concepts into impactful realities.

Wearable Technology

Arizona’s competencies in advanced electronics and materials, sensors, and AI/machine learning enable development and application of wearable technologies in health, industrial safety, and other specialized domains.

Current Project

Hypersound Medical

Hypersound, in collaboration with Arizona State University through the WearTech Applied Research Center, pioneers a groundbreaking microwave energy-based system. This wireless transmitter applies harmonics to nerve cells, offering a non-invasive, opiate-free solution for chronic pain.

Current Project


Thodian, an AI-powered wearable stress device, operates as dual handheld or affixed devices, employing gentle haptic microvibrations. In just 30 seconds, it mitigates the body's stress response, alleviating physiological and psychological symptoms by over 74%.

Medical Technologies

From AI-driven diagnostics to cutting-edge digital health solutions, medical technologies improve health and quality of life. Applied Research Initiative leverages Arizona’s intellectual property, commercialization infrastructure, and deep talent to grow and expand the medical technology sector, which includes medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health.

Current Project


The Medtronic Kidney and Heart Wearable Monitor aims to streamline the monitoring process for individuals at risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic heart failure (CHF). By delivering quicker and more frequent measurements of Glucose, Potassium, and Creatinine, this medical wearable device significantly enhances workflow efficiency and monitoring capabilities for both conditions.

Semiconductors and
Advanced Electronics

As a leading national semiconductors and advanced electronics hub, Arizona innovations drive progress in communications, computing, healthcare, transportation, clean energy, and more. By advancing electronics and semiconductor technology, we foster innovation that not only reshapes industries but significantly enhances our lives.

Current Project

Crystal Sonic

By harnessing the power of sound, Crystal Sonic's Sonic Lift-off technology enables thin device lift-off and substrate re-use, drastically reducing waste and cost. With a focus on materials science and engineering expertise, Crystal Sonic propels technological growth, offering elegant solutions that pave the way for smaller, higher-performance semiconductor devices.

Blockchain and AI

Blockchain and AI technologies power real-world applications across diverse industries from banking, supply chain, healthcare, and manufacturing. Arizona’s higher education institutions partner with startups and industrial leaders to develop blockchain and AI solutions and prepare the future workforce.

Current Project

Multi-Signal Device Authentication

By leveraging permissioned Distributed Ledger Technology (DTL) or permissionless blockchain, the project ensures the integrity and consistency of device state transitions, fostering a secure and immutable record of device history within the IoT management system.

Climate / Clean Technology

Arizona is advancing scalable solutions to achieve sustainability in water, renewable energy, electrification, and other climate and clean technologies. Applied research includes prototype enhancement, testing, validation, and early deployment pilots, leveraging Arizona’s specialized research facilities, computing capabilities, and place-based infrastructure.

Current Project

Beyond Silicon

Beyond Silicon pioneers the future of photovoltaics with its groundbreaking 'HelioGen' Tandem Solar Cell. This innovative technology combines a perovskite solar cell with a silicon solar cell, optimizing the full solar spectrum for increased efficiency. Positioned as a drop-in replacement for traditional silicon solar cells in module production lines, 'HelioGen' aims for 28%-efficient photovoltaic modules.