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Jim Woodell, Ph.D.
Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement
Shalin R. Jyotishi
Associate, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Milan Ephraim
Program Assistant, Economic Development & Community Engagement

Innovation, Competitiveness & Economic Prosperity

APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) was created to help leaders of APLU member universities—including presidents and chancellors, senior research officers, provosts, other officers and their staffs—plan, assess, and communicate their institutions’ work in local and regional economic development. CICEP members are concerned with the study and effective practice of university economic engagement - efforts that foster innovation and entrepreneurship, talent and workforce development, and social, cultural and community development through the stewardship and development of place— all with an emphasis on collaborating with partners from government, communities and industry. 

Members of CICEP include leaders and professionals from across the university campus who work on issues related to university engagement in economic development, including vice presidents/chancellors, directors, and staff from:

  • Economic development
  • Talent and workforce development
  • Technology transfer
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Corporate and foundation relations
  • Research and graduate administration
  • Academic affairs
  • Public and governmental affairs
  • Business and engineering departments
  • Others connected to the university role and impact in economic development.

CICEP leads efforts to share best practices in these areas, and develops tools to help public research universities build and enhance partnerships with government, industry, and other science, research, and economic development organizations.

CICEP is convened by APLU's Office of Economic Development & Community Engagement and works closely with a number of other APLU groups to support their efforts as they touch on issues related to innovation and economic development. For example, CICEP works with the Council on Research on issues related to intellectual property and technology development; with the Council on Engagement and Outreach on issues related to community engagement; and with the Council on Governmental Affairs on issues related to science and innovation policy and advocacy. CICEP's member leadership is comprised of a presidential Chair, a senior economic engagement officer as Secretary and an Executive Committee made up of leaders of the committees and working groups that help advance the agenda of the Commission. CICEP established and governs APLU's signature Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program. CICEP supports and engages with broader APLU funded projects and initiatives.  

Are you at an APLU member campus? Join us and get engaged. Email us at

Follow CICEP on Twitter at @APLUEngagement 

CICEP Chair 2017-2019
Pennsylvania State University
CICEP Secretary 2015-2018
Assistant Vice President
Indiana University

Watch highlights from CICEP's 10-Year Anniversary



CICEP’s Strategic Framework is built around four areas of work:

  • Economic Engagement Leadership

    CICEP leads APLU efforts to promote, facilitate, support, and communicate about university economic engagement.
  • National Resource
    CICEP is a nationally and internationally recognized resource for sharing best practices in economic engagement among public research university leaders and their teams. CICEP develops best practices for leadership engagement, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, commercialization, university partnerships, talent and workforce development, and cultivation of "place" in regions. CICEP also coordinates development of new tools and resources for public research universities to better measure their activities and contributions to the local, state, regional, national and global economy.
  • Convener of Partnerships
    CICEP acts as a key convener and collaborator to develop strong connections and partnerships among leadership of APLU member universities and with external partners from industry, government, and other science, research, and economic development organizations.
  • Communication Strategies
    In consultation with university leaders and staff members responsible for economic engagement efforts, CICEP develops communication strategies to bring greater clarity and visibility to university economic development work. Strategies emphasize deepening industry, government, and public commitment to our universities and their role in economic prosperity.

Featured Project & Initiative

Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M University
Economic Development & Engagement
APLU believes public and land-grant universities should dramatically expand engagement efforts with partners in the communities they serve—members of the public, community organizations, business and industry, state and local government, and others.

Featured Project & Initiative

Clemson University
Economic Development & Engagement
Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT), APLU, and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) created an Expert Educator Team (EET) to identify how colleges and universities can modify curricula to meet the knowledge, skills, and abilities workers will need for jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Featured Project & Initiative

Economic Development & Engagement
The IEP University Designation is earned by institutions demonstrating an institutional, sustainable, and substantive commitment to excellence in economic engagement.