UArizona’s ‘Biosphere 2′ now home to sustainable startups

“This is just the start.”
KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 7:24 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 is now home to the school’s business incubator outpost, where renewable energy and sustainable startups from across the world will come to work and experiment in hopes of finding commercial success.

“Tucson has a lot of great advantages,” said Ryan Lefers, CEO and President of Red Sea Farms.

His company, which focuses on agriculture technology, is based in Saudi Arabia but Lefers has since moved to southern Arizona because of this new program.

“Were best known for our work with salt water,” said Lefers. “We do a lot of breeding or water tolerance in plants in addition we try to leverage salt water for cooling.”

They are also working to find alternative sources for irrigation, like using salt water for plants. He says Biosphere 2, home to 3,000 species of plants and animals, will provide the perfect place to experiment. But there are other reasons Tucson is an attractive option.

“It’s a great place to do business,” said Lefers. “It’s a great place to find talent and a great place to help build our business and great access into Mexico .”

On top of this, Dr. Robbins says the startups will get to work with students which benefits both parties.

“My hope of course is that the bright minds at the UA, the students, will come up with their own ideas bring them here and start their own companies,” said Dr. Robbins

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