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Biosphere II to help grow new tech companies

UArizona opening tech incubator there
Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 20:55:27-04

ORACLE, Ariz. (KGUN) — In the town of Oracle, The University of Arizona’s Biosphere II is an ideal environment for climate research. Now it’s working to be an ideal environment for start up companies to turn smart science into smart products.

Biosphere has a unique ability to simulate the Earth’s climate and adjust it for experiments. Now UArizona is using the skills and technology there to help tech companies thrive.

When people think of tech start ups they usually think of Silicon Valley.

Biosphere 2 can simulate the environment of valleys, jungles, oceans and deserts.

University of Arizona President Doctor Robert Robbins says the technology and expertise gathered at Biosphere is a great place for companies to turn ideas into action and into products.

“Great science goes on here and now bringing in individuals with these companies that are going to take advantage of all the resources that are at Biosphere II to help them innovate and move their companies along so they can discover new knowledge and translate that new knowledge into commercializable products that makes the world a better place.”

Kai Staats’ company called Over the Sun is developing software to simulate the environment of Mars or a human habitat on Mars——and excite kids about science by letting them run their own Mars simulations.

“And they can actually monitor the quality of air, the quality that the environmental conditions within the classroom as though they’re inva spaceship and understand how their body and their metabolism that affects the environment inside that space.”

So far four companies have already signed up to do business at Biosphere and more may be on the way.

This is all a project of UArizona’s Center for Innovation. It has 72 companies involved in innovation incubators throughout Southern Arizona.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.