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IEP Award Spotlight: Place Category Finalists: Arizona State University and Colorado State University

As part of its ongoing effort to help member institutions magnify their economic impact, APLU recently announced finalists for its 2016 Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards. The awards honor institutions performing exemplary work to advance the economic wellbeing of their states, regions, and the nation through a variety of efforts. In this final installment in a three-part series, APLU spotlights Arizona State University and Colorado State University, finalists in the “Place” IEP Awards category, for excelling in community, social, and cultural development work. One of the finalists will be named the Place category award winner Sunday, November 13 in Austin, Texas during the APLU Annual Meeting.

Arizona State University (ASU) has created a satellite campus on a decommissioned United States Air Force Base. Following the base’s retirement in 1993, ASU partnered with local community colleges, a K-12 charter school, and an Army Reserve center to repurpose the space and transform it into a locus of economic growth. Today, ASU’s Polytechnic Campus on the base educates 10,000 students enrolled in 40 degree programs. Students also join with industry partners on the campus to tackle issues facing their sector. The campus has emphasis on applied engineering.

The campus also features project-based challenges defined by industry partners that are tackled by student-led teams working under the expertise of faculty members. Each project involves an interdisciplinary team of four to eight students who work together for either a semester or academic year, depending on the complexity of the project. The industry partner commits to funding the materials, equipment and other expenses needed to complete the project. Most importantly, the partner provides a project liaison who works with the students to develop detailed project requirements, exchange information, negotiate changes, and present interim and final results. In turn, the partner receives full access to all project outcomes and results.

Colorado State University has created an Energy Institute to catalyze entrepreneurship in energy technology and spur the development of more clean, reliable, and abundant sources of energy. Colorado State created its Energy Institute to consolidate its vast energy research under one organization that emphasizes interdisciplinary approach to global problem-solving. Today, over 160 faculty members across CSU are developing new technologies, exploring the economic, environmental, and sociological impacts of energy use, and proposing policy solutions.

The Energy Institute joins with industry and governmental partners to create new research and educational opportunities. To date, the Institute has yielded $10 million in annual energy savings from student-run industrial audits and helped prevent 100 million pounds of Nitrogen Oxide pollution. What’s more, over 1,000 students have been trained to date across the Institute’s affiliated centers.

  • Economic Development & Community Engagement

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