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ASU and Starbucks partner on research and innovation facility

Nine ASU Starbucks stores, such as the Palo Verde location featured, will act as innovation labs to test and evaluate strategies resulting from the facility research. (Photo by Ashley Quay/ASU)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University and Starbucks announced Thursday they have joined together to launch a new research and innovation facility.

The ASU-Starbucks Center for the Future of People and the Planet is scheduled to open in December 2021 on the Tempe Campus at the Global Futures Laboratory.

In its first year, the facility will establish a broad vision and goals in addition to focusing on greener stores, food and wellness, community betterment and test stores.

Supported by ASU’s applied research center and on-campus test store ecosystem, the facility is comprised by a team of scientists, researchers and support staff.

Nine licensed Starbucks stores on campus, ran by Aramark, will act as innovation labs to test and evaluate customer response to center innovations.

A few strategies the innovation labs will be testing include new plant-based offerings, strategies to improve recycling and circularity and new technology, such as AI.

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