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Tucson’s Tech Evolution: From Desert Oasis to Digital Hub

01/31/2024

How Involta Supports This Emerging Market’s Top Tech-Focused Industries

In the heart of the Sonoran Desert, a remarkable transformation is underway. Tucson, known for its vibrant cultural heritage and iconic desert landscapes, is emerging as a burgeoning technology hub. With its close proximity to Phoenix, one of the largest data center and tech markets in the U.S., Tucson is quickly becoming a highly sought-after location in the tech-driven “Silicon Cactus” state of Arizona as the demand for high-performance computing, robust IT infrastructure and secure tech and data center solutions continues to rise.

Why Tucson?

Tucson is turning into a hotbed for growth for organizations across a multitude of industries, including technology, manufacturing, aerospace and healthcare. Why? Tucson boasts a diverse population, and its strategic location near premier research and educational institutions, such as the University of Arizona, contributes to a well-educated workforce and a perpetual pipeline of new top-tier talent. In fact, Tucson was recently named a top city for tech talent growth, ranking 13th on CBRE’s Annual List of Up-and-Coming Tech Markets. Additionally, a steadily growing economy combined with a manageable tax rate and significant tax incentives make Tucson a prime target for businesses of all sizes.

Top 4 Tech-Driven Industries in Tucson

Beyond the city’s natural beauty, rich history and thriving art scene, Tucson is quickly becoming the place to be for innovation and advancement for many technology-focused industries.

1. Aerospace

Clear skies and a dry climate make Southern Arizona the perfect location for businesses in the aerospace industry. Tucson is home to many aerospace companies specializing in areas such as defense, satellite technology, aerospace research and development and commercial aircraft. Due to a highly concentrated aerospace product and parts manufacturing sector, Tucson is ranked as a top 10 metropolitan area for aerospace manufacturing, according to Sun Corridor Inc. Large aerospace employers in Tucson include Ascent Aviation Services, Bombardier Aerospace, Honeywell Aerospace and Northrop Grumman.

2. Healthcare and Biotechnology

Home to more than 100 companies focused on advancements in healthcare, biotechnology and diagnostics, Tucson is on the verge of becoming a top location for this mission-critical industry. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has granted University of Arizona researchers over $1.6 billion since 2010, making them the largest NIH grant recipient in Arizona. Top bioscience employers include Roche Tissue Diagnostics and Critical Path Institute.

3. Transportation and Logistics
Arizona is emerging as the automated vehicle capital of the world. TuSimple, a leading developer of self-driving technology for freight transportation, recently announced an R&D expansion and the grand opening of its Tucson campus, bringing hundreds of high-tech jobs to the city. The new campus will include multiple state-of-the-art labs dedicated to developing and testing advancements in electrical and mechanical engineering, in addition to sensor development.

4. Manufacturing
Seventy percent of Arizona Commerce Authority pipeline projects are manufacturing-related. Within the past year, Arizona has won multiple expansion and attraction manufacturing projects statewide, representing over $40 billion in capital investment and creating more than 24,000 new jobs. Major manufacturing deals across Arizona span a variety of sectors, including semiconductors, batteries and renewable energy.

As innovation expands across Tucson and the adoption of AI and IoT increases, utilizing a robust digital infrastructure becomes increasingly critical. Connectivity and high-performance computing capabilities will be essential to support the evolving data processing demands of thriving tech-focused industries in the region.

Involta’s Role and Commitment to the Tucson Market

In light of the tremendous focus on technology, organizations throughout Arizona are seeking partners with impressive digital infrastructure and IT expertise to ensure they achieve and maintain their competitive edge and continued success. Involta has become Tucson’s IT partner of choice, showcasing a deep commitment to helping enterprises in the area harness the power of technology and optimize their IT strategies with our innovative, enterprise-class colocation, cloud and connectivity services.

We’re continuously enhancing our colocation and service offerings to empower Tucson organizations to further drive innovation and digital transformation. In late 2023, we announced plans to expand capacity at our 38,000+ square-foot third-generation Tucson facility, which will enable enterprises across the growing tech hub to scale rapidly and optimize digital and AI-focused initiatives.

“Our investment in Tucson underscores our long-standing commitment to advancing technology and innovation throughout the Southwest region,” says Michelle Moran, Involta’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Business Development and Marketing. “Not only are we expanding our facility, but we’re bolstering our engagement across the ecosystem to bridge the digital divide, enable our clients to reimagine their worlds through forward-thinking technology and empower generations to come.”

The expansion comes on the heels of our Tucson data center’s 10th anniversary and the launch of two Internet exchanges (IXs), including the Tucson Internet Exchange (TUSIX). TUSIX, located within our state-of-the-art facility, is a not-for-profit initiative that fosters local connectivity and collaboration, enabling businesses to peer and exchange their network traffic locally.

Involta was also recently recognized as the Arizona Technology Council Southern Arizona Member Organization of the Year. Since joining the Arizona Technology Council in 2013, Involta’s Tucson team has forged new and lasting connections with business and technology leaders, joining a community focused on driving innovation throughout Arizona.

The Tucson of Tomorrow

As Tucson continues to evolve into a booming tech hub in the Silicon Cactus, Involta is thrilled to be part of the region’s undoubtedly bright future. With its commitment to innovation, tech-focused industries and strong digital infrastructure, the city is positioned as a rising star across the business landscape, and our People Who Deliver look forward to helping tech-focused enterprises lead the charge in developing a thriving digital hub that is ready to support evolving technologies for generations to come.

To learn more about Involta’s capacity expansion at the Tucson data center facility, read the announcement here.

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