News & Media

Working with Government Affairs to Gain Broader Input on IEP

On June 15th, APLU hosted a webinar for our current IEP startup cohort focused on “Working with Government Affairs to Gain Broader Input on IEP.”

The webinar began with Alvaro J. Muñiz, Director in the Office for International, Community, and Economic Engagement; plugging the IEP Summit taking place on August 2, 2022, in Detroit, MI. Be sure to register here.

We then transitioned to a presentation by Florida International University led by Carlos Becerra, Associate Vice President for Government & Community Affairs and Emily Gresham, Assistant Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development and Co-Founder of StartUP FIU.

FIU began by sharing their background, accomplishments, and path towards IEP designation in 2018. It started with them participating in the culmination of the FIUBeyondPossible2020 strategic plan and the rebranding of the Division of Research into the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) with a new unit called Innovation and Economic Development (IED) to provide the structure to support FIU’s economic development activities. A series stakeholder interviews with students, faculty, staff, community leaders and other stakeholders, along with other reports, led FIU to launch the IEP application process to address concerns which arose over the lack of coordination in entrepreneurship and innovation as related to economic development. This included the formation of a Steering Committee which included the President and Provost along with other key administrators from multiple departments.

FIU then discussed how their Government Relations team worked locally to provide more exposure to StartUP FIU, FIU Small Business Development Center, and its federally-funded research spinoffs. Additionally, they coordinated with the regional county government and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. However, the key to a successful relationship between Government Relations and Research/Innovation is a channel of communications and annual alignment meetings and bi-weekly coordination meetings. FIU’s secret sauce for federal relations was the launch of FIU in Washington, D.C., which serves as a hub for connecting faculty, agency officials, students, alumni, and visiting partners from Miami. A key insight shared with attendees is that though there’s turnover amongst elected officials at the local, state, and national levels, the staff tends to remain constant, and universities should work to establish strong relationships with these aides.

The webinar concluded with FIU sharing the following benefits from FIU’s IEP application process and designation:

  1. Framework for innovation and economic development
  2. Built relationships with faculty and staff during the process
  3. Identified areas of excellence
  4. Established the Innovation and Economic Development team within the Office of Research and Economic Development

Interested in Applying for Designation or Comment?

The next and final IEP Designation and Comment Deadline for 2022 is August 12th. Access Momentive to submit your application.

Inspired by what you’ve read here? Learn more about how to get engaged at www.APLU.org/SeekIEP and read more articles like this at www.aplu.org/iepblog.

  • IEP

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