CAREFREE, Ariz.—PanAridus L.L.C., a company dedicated to the commercialization of tire-grade guayule rubber, is one of 25 Arizona-based companies that advanced to the semifinals of Fall 2012 Arizona Innovation Challenge.
A biannual contest sponsored by the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Innovation Challenge is designed to help innovative startup and early-stage companies to expand into commercial viability, according to a newsletter issued by PanAridus.
More than 200 Arizona companies applied for the contest, according to PanAridus. The contest judges will announce six to 10 winners in mid-December, who will receive awards ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 each.
PanAridus was founded four years ago by agronomist Michael Fraley. According to Fraley, the company has the world's largest collection of growing germplasm for guayule—a desert shrub native toMexicoand the southwesternU.S.—as well as the world's only dedicated guayule research team.
At the International Tire Exhibition & Conference last September, Fraley announced the availability of tire-grade PanAridus guayule rubber samples to any interested tire or rubber product manufacturing company.