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National Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Designation Program Now Open to All Universities

March 7, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC— The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and University Economic Development Association (UEDA) today announced a partnership to provide access to APLU’s Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Program to all higher education institutions. Until now, the IEP program, which recognizes higher education institutions that make regional economic development a priority, was only available to public research universities and land-grant institutions in APLU’s membership.

The IEP program includes several components including an institutional designation, an awards competition, and an ongoing community of research and practice around university-based economic engagement. Economic engagement efforts include institutions working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities – innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.
For an institution to earn the IEP University designation, it must assemble a cross-campus team of officers responsible for university efforts in innovation and entrepreneurship, talent and workforce development, and community engagement. The team conducts a rigorous self-study of the institution’s economic engagement efforts that includes input from external stakeholders. As part of the self-study, each institution identifies areas for growth and improvement within its economic engagement enterprise and must develop an improvement plan. This work demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in this kind of engagement, which is vital to higher education institutions, and their regional and state economies.
In its five years of existence, 58 public research universities have received the IEP University designation. To date, only APLU members have been able to participate in the IEP Universities program. Now, through the University Economic Development Association’s UEDA+ Program, all higher education institution types in UEDA’s membership will be able to participate.
“We have seen the IEP University program provide a substantial infrastructure and learning exchange for more than 58 of our members designated throughout the first five years of the program,” said Jim Woodell, vice president for economic development and community engagement. “By expanding this program to all institutions of higher education, we hope to further catalyze more institutions to leverage their rightful role in our society by and strengthening their economic engagement and regional economic and societal impact.”
“Regional economies are strengthened by all types of higher education institutions and stakeholders,” said Tim Hindes, executive director for UEDA. “We are thrilled to partner with APLU on this opportunity to provide economic engagement support to all institution types.”

UEDA and APLU are accepting letters of intent for the inaugural cohort of the IEP Universities Program though UEDA+. The deadline to submit letters of intent is April 30, 2018. For more information, visit the UEDA IEP Website.

About UEDA
Established in 1976, the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) is the cornerstone membership organization representing higher education, private sector and community economic development stakeholders. UEDA works to expand economic opportunity in our communities by leveraging research, community resources, campus planning, talent development, and technology commercialization.  UEDA’s mission is to serve its members by enhancing members’ abilities to deliver economic development benefits through engagement with higher education.


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