By Melissa Prentice
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Electronic vehicles and small portable computers could benefit from efforts of the newest member of the UA Research Team.
New York-based Moltech Corp. is expected to finalize a lease agreement this week, making the rechargeable lithium battery researchers the first tenants of the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park.
The Arizona Board of Regents purchased the former IBM facility on South Rita Road to house the research park and the new Pima County liberal arts college.
During the next few years, the university will attempt to fill the 2 million-square-foot facility with private sector research activities that could be connected with the research activities of the university or the economic development of the community. Only tenants involved in high-technology research and development can be housed at the research park.
"It's a technology area the university is really interested in; it is the type of high technology we want to affiliate with," Bruce Wright, director of UA economic development and community affairs, said about the new tenants.
Marshall Worden, science and technology park director, said Moltech Corp. also fits well into the university's goal of creating a partnership between businesses and the university. "We are looking to create a synergism with the firms and the university, and that is part of the reason they (Moltech) were interested in coming here."
After locating at the UA, Moltech Corp. employees will be able to collaborate with UA scientists and engineers and pursue higher-education degrees, Wright said.
Moltech has been associated with other universities in the past, including Arizona State University and a branch of New York University.
The company's move to the facility will hopefully "add momentum" to efforts to find and attract other compatible tenants to the facility, Worden said.
Moltech Corp. could not be reached for comment.
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