ASU Enterprise Partners creates significant resources for ASU during fiscal year 2022

ASU Enterprise Partners achieved several milestones earlier this year, all of which helped Arizona State University expand its reach and advance its charter. This first issue highlights some of the ways our business units and centers of excellence created solutions and generated resources to advance research, increase student access and enrich communities.

By the numbers showcases how we make an impact for ASU

By the numbers offers a snapshot of notable milestones achieved from January 1 – June 30, 2022


New gifts and commitments raised by the ASU Foundation


Value of the ASU endowment at the end of fiscal year 2022, which provides ongoing payouts to ASU in perpetuity


Value of gifts of real estate secured in fiscal year 2022


ASU startups created

No. 8

Ranking for U.S. utility patents issued among universities


Generating resources for students and faculty

ASU Foundation for A New American University

The ASU Foundation for A New American University recorded a banner year thanks to the generosity of 106,832 individual, corporate and foundation donors.

Sun Devil supporters donated approximately $331 million in new gifts and commitments to support student success, academic programs, research and programs at Arizona State University during the 2022 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

“We’re very grateful for donors’ generosity this past fiscal year to help ASU advance its charter,” ASU Foundation CEO Gretchen Buhlig said. “Private support aids students with scholarships, faculty with new academic and research positions, and centers and the community with solutions to global issues.”

Additionally, the ASU endowment reached $1.3 billion at the end of the fiscal year, which is managed by the ASU Foundation and provides ongoing payouts to ASU for student scholarships and fellowships, faculty professorships, directors and chairs, academic programs and research, Sun Devil Athletics and other restricted uses.

Despite challenging market conditions this past year, the endowment grew 2.39% in fiscal year 2022, significantly outperforming the investments’ strategic benchmark return of minus 13.59%. The endowment is made up of more than 2,000 individual accounts that are restricted by donors to a specific use and paid out to the university on a distribution schedule.

See how fundraisers advanced ASU

University Realty

University Realty continues to partner with the real estate community and ASU Foundation fundraisers to garner gifts of real estate, which creates a win-win for donors and ASU.

Individuals looking to retire, downsize or simplify their lives have an opportunity to donate real estate that can support ASU scholarships and research, depending on the donors’ preferences.

“Donors may qualify for an income tax charitable deduction equal to the property’s full fair market value and eliminate capital gains tax on its appreciation. In addition, they can reduce their taxable estate,” said Brad Grannis, director of real estate assets for University Realty.

During fiscal year 2022, the University Realty team and those that support their work, closed on more than $3.5 million in gifts of real estate. Real estate gifts can include primary residences, vacation homes, office buildings, ranches, industrial property and undeveloped land.

There are several giving options available to donors, including outright gifts, bargain sales and various donations through various trusts.

Read more about gifts of real estate types and benefits.

Milo Space Science Institute

The Milo Space Science Institute is a nonprofit research collaborative led by Arizona State University with support from Lockheed Martin. Milo’s primary objectives are to create access to space exploration, build up local space science ecosystems, and to develop the next generation of space science investigators.

Milo works with government agencies, universities and space industry experts around the world.

“Milo makes space science and exploration accessible to countries around the world that want to increase their knowledge, infrastructure, and human capital and participate more deeply in the growing global space economy,” said David Thomas, executive director of Milo. “We have formal relationships with the United Kingdom, Canada and Ecuador, and we’re talking with several other countries who are interested in our innovative model.”

Milo is currently working on collaborations with international partners that are interested in deploying payloads to the surface of the moon on the Lockheed Martin Lunar Mobility Vehicle.

Learn more about Milo’s space expertise.


RealmSpark helped educational technology start-up businesses to address the largest challenges facing higher education today, while boosting revenue for ASU Enterprise Partners.

RealmSpark partners with and funds companies that are scaling access to education and improving learner outcomes.

“It’s not enough to say we aim to provide high-quality educational resources without also addressing the student success piece of the equation,” said Sam Bradley, managing director of RealmSpark.

These companies are deemed successful when they fulfill the mission of addressing higher education obstacles and provide a financial return to ASU Enterprise Partners in the form a successful investment exit. The RealmSpark team recently had three companies successfully exit the program with significant return-on-investment multiples.

When these companies succeed it also benefits ASU in the form of new enrollment and student retention.

ASU Enterprise Partners began investing in edtech companies in 2016 and has had five companies successfully exit the portfolio since inception. There are 26 active companies.

Learn more about edtech companies changing higher education.


ASURE was added to a contract that could total as much as $85 million to provide expertise in applied research and advanced technology development to meet the U.S. Special Operations Command’s scientific and engineering needs.

ASURE is working with the Institute of Applied Engineering at the University of South Florida on this project, which is scheduled to conclude in February 2025.

“We are pleased to be added to this contract and solve some of the nation’s military challenges,” said Ron “RT” Thompson, managing director of ASURE. “Our team partners with ASU researchers to develop innovative solutions.”

ASURE is a nonprofit entity that partners with ASU to extend the university’s reach and ability to conduct restricted-access research and development. ASURE provides access to high-level national security research and other programs beyond ASU’s native capability, which gives faculty access to contracting opportunities with local, state, and federal agencies such as the Department of Defense.

Learn more about ASURE’s work.

Skysong Innovations

ASU rose three spots to No. 8 for U.S. utility patents issued to universities worldwide in 2021, a rank made possible by the Skysong Innovations team.

This marks the second time that ASU ranked in the top 10 among universities worldwide in the annual ranking by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

ASU secured 153 U.S. patents in 2021, joining other top 10 universities including MIT, Stanford University, Purdue University and Harvard University.

Skysong Innovations, ASU’s exclusive technology transfer and intellectual property management organization, helps translate research into impact by protecting intellectual property developed in ASU labs and negotiating licensing deals with commercial partners who advance the patented technologies and develop solutions for society.

“Patents often play a key role in protecting a company’s competitive advantage in the market,” said Kyle Siegal, senior vice president and chief patent counsel for Skysong Innovations. “For our commercial partners — new startups and established industry players alike — our patents bolster the confidence they need to invest their own resources in developing ASU innovations into cutting-edge products.”

Learn about some of the patents issued.

The Outreach Hub

ASU Enterprise Partners added a new business unit over the summer to strengthen and expand ASU’s marketing and outreach efforts.

The ASU Outreach Hub supports the outreach and transactional needs of the ASU public enterprise using data-driven insights, collaborative approaches and multifaceted outreach techniques to design marketing and engagement solutions that advance the enterprise and strengthen the ASU brand.

The ASU Outreach Hub specializes in three areas: paid media outreach, alumni and donor outreach and targeted corporate outreach. It provides consultation, tools, training and guidelines to the ASU marketing community to support their outreach efforts.

The organization oversees all marketing for ASU Enterprise Partners and its business units. Projects can be requested here.