As part of its ongoing effort to help member institutions magnify their economic impact, APLU has announced finalists for its 2021 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 post, APLU spotlights University of Cincinnati and Pennsylvania State University finalists in the “Talent” IEP Awards category, for their outstanding work resulting in social, cultural, or community development. One of the finalists will be named the Talent category award winner during the 2021 APLU Virtual Annual Meeting.
University of Cincinnati
Seeking to meet talent needs and drive economic growth for the region, the University of Cincinnati boldly accelerated the development and attraction of talent for industry with the opening of its 1819 Innovation Hub in 2017. Noting the swift success of 1819, Governor Mike DeWine unveiled the Cincinnati Innovation District (CID) in March 2020. Powered by the University of Cincinnati, the CID envelops myriad innovation assets and access to some of the world’s leading academic and research centers, organizations and talent pools. The district’s mission is to become a globally recognized talent hub and lead a transformational movement. The combination of industry engagement, unique experiential platforms and accessible research expertise — working at the pace of change — will become a model nationwide.
Pennsylvania State University
The LaunchBox & Innovation Hub Network began in 2015 when five Penn State campuses were awarded grants from Invent Penn State’s seed grant program to create community innovation hubs. Over the next three years, Invent Penn State expanded the network to 21 campuses, which now provides communities access to no-cost coworking spaces, makerspaces, accelerator programs, pitch competitions, speaker series, experts and mentors, business advice, legal and IP advice, micro-grants, and community engagement spaces. Each LaunchBox and innovation hub provides resources specific to the needs of their community and collaborates internally with the network, sharing programming and best practices. In the first five years, the network has engaged more than 10,000 students and faculty, assisted over 3,300 entrepreneurs, and provided free legal and intellectual property consultations to more than 1,500 ventures. During this time, more than 160 startups have formed with help from Invent Penn State.