Win National Recognition. Maximize Local Impact.
Be Part of the Exciting New Changes in 2016!
Each year, UEDA members compete for our prestigious Awards of Excellence, which recognize outstanding, leading-edge higher education projects and initiatives promoting economic development and engagement. Never content to rest on our laurels, however, this year we are significantly revamping the Awards program to reflect UEDA’s new research on economic development and engagement in higher education. We hope you will join us in this exciting new endeavor!
UEDA’s New Framework for Higher Education Engagement in Economic Development
In 2015, UEDA jointly published Higher Education Engagement in Economic Development: Foundations for Strategy and Practice with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Commission on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Economic Prosperity (APLU-CICEP). This ground-breaking document sets forth a common definition for “university economic development and engagement,” a set of principles to guide economic development and engagement in higher education, and a taxonomy of programs to assist practitioners and higher education officials in understanding—and communicating—what constitutes the full spectrum of university-based economic development. For the full text of this document, which we strongly encourage all applicants to read, please see http://Foundations.UniversityEDA.org. As a result of the insights gained during this process, the UEDA Awards Committee has (a) changed the awards categories to reflect the newly created taxonomy and (b) revamped the judging criteria and process to better align with the principles set forth in this strategic framework. These changes are described in further detail throughout this document.
New Awards Categories
In keeping with the new taxonomy’s emphasis on three core missions—Talent, Innovation, and Place—as well as projects and initiatives that occur at the intersection of these missions, the 2016 Awards of Excellence categories are described below. For a more complete discussion of these categories, and a detailed list of the types of projects/initiatives that fit into these categories, see Higher Education Engagement in Economic Development: Foundations for Strategy and Practice at http://Foundations.UniversityEDA.org. Talent Talent includes the spectrum of knowledge transfer activities by which universities educate people, developing human capital for the 21st century Knowledge Economy. This category includes life-long learning, both degree and non-degree programs, experiential education and discovery-based learning programs, active alignment of curricula to industry needs, etc.
Talent + Innovation
Projects and initiatives that synergistically connect TALENT and INNOVATION, to create innovators of many kinds—business entrepreneurs, idea or product makers, and problem-solvers. Entrepreneurship education projects/initiatives and experiential learning projects/initiatives to connect students with entrepreneurs are just two examples of the types of projects/initiatives included in this category.
Innovation begins with basic research, but then builds on knowledge creation to encompass knowledge transfer and application in ways that are useful and relevant to society. This category encompasses basic research; applied, translational, problem-oriented, and industry-contracted R&D; cooperative extension services; technology transfer; etc.
Innovation + Place
Projects and initiatives that synergistically connect INNOVATION and PLACE, to create physical places that attract and build concentrations of talent and innovators—knowledge communities. This can be construed as either or both (1) a specific site, such as a university research and technology park, incubator, accelerator, etc., or (2) a larger community, area, or region, such as an innovation district.
Place is defined as the many and diverse ways in which institutions contribute to making attractive, competitive communities—places where people want to live, create and take jobs, raise their families, participate in civic life, and age and retire. Competitive, successful communities and regions are attentive to the health, education, environment, housing, safety, and entertainment needs of community members. Campuses and sites like research parks are components of place-making, but the focus of this definition is broader, on communities, or even on regions.
Talent + Place
Projects and initiatives that synergistically connect TALENT and PLACE in ways that enrich discourse, promote civic participation, and otherwise enhance quality of place. Just a few examples include K-12 school improvement partnerships; local government training institutes; and higher education involvement in regional government, economic development organizations, and community and wellness projects/initiatives.
Awards Informational Webinar
Couldn’t participate in the Awards of Excellence webinar, or need a refresher? The presentation is archived below for your reference.