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University of Central Florida Researchers Awarded NSF Grant to Study APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities

August 31, 2017

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to two University of Central Florida (UCF) researchers to study institutions that have earned the APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University designation. The Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities program was established in 2012 to recognize institutions that have spurred regional economic development through their economic engagement work – including technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, industry partnerships and community development, outreach and service.

More than 60 APLU institutions have received the IEP university designation. Participating institutions complete a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement enterprise and earn APLU’s IEP University designation if enough benchmarks are met.

The UCF researchers will create an open-access, easy-to-use dataset from current IEP University data. They will then examine broad trends across IEP Universities, such as how a university’s economic engagement enterprise is structured, common metrics and benchmarks used to measure success and trends across reported areas of strengths and weakness as well as growth and improvement plans. Finally, they will publish a comprehensive report detailing data trends, insights, and lines of inquiry for subsequent research.

The NSF grant is the latest effort to use IEP Universities data to uncover insights on public research universities’ community engagement efforts. Two doctoral students at Purdue University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania are in the midst of analyzing IEP University data for their dissertation. And the National Institute for Standards and Technology, a federal agency within the U.S Department of Commerce, will soon award an $300,000 grant to an organization to study best practices in technology commercialization on IEP University campuses.

APLU institutions interested in joining the more than 60 universities that have earned the IEP University designation should submit a formal letter of intent by Friday, September 29. Learn more.

  • IEP Designation

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