Avnet (AVT) is looking to drive technological innovation in its home state of Arizona with the creation of the Avnet Innovation Lab, a new program designed to provide engineers with the financial and consultation they need to develop new technology.

The lab is a joint collaboration between Avnet and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Avnet will serve as the exclusive financial supporter for the lab for the first three years, with an annual commitment of $250,000 plus administrative fees, according to the announcement. Funding will go toward select individual “performers” chosen to develop their specific ideas.

“The technology industry exists because of those individuals driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, but every inventor needs support to bring their ideas to life,” said MaryAnn Miller, senior vice president, chief human resources officer and corporate marketing & communications for Avnet. “We created the Avnet Innovation Lab at ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to give today’s entrepreneurs access to the combined consulting services, facilities and resources of a Fortune 500 company and one of the most innovative schools in the U.S.”

So far, four entrepreneur organizations have been chosen to work in the Avnet Innovation Lab. Both Avnet and ASU will oversee the individual projects and provide mentorship and business connections to the entrepreneurs.

The creation of the Avnet Innovation Lab is not the first time that the distributor has worked to boost interest in STEM careers: Earlier this year, the company help its 11th annual Avnet Tech Games in Tempe, Arizona to encourage college students to pursue careers in IT.