Awards of Excellence 2011 Winners

Each year, the UEDA recognizes top achievements in university economic development from across the country.

Listed below are our 2011 Awards of Excellence winners.


Excellence in Community Connected Campus

Research Valley Partnership

The OneHealth PlusTM Biocorridor is the world’s first, comprehensive location offering unprecedented industry opportunities to unite environmental, animal and human health breakthroughs. The Research Valley’s 3,500 acre biocorridor leverages the unique expertise, research centers, institutes and agencies of The Texas A&M University System spanning agriculture, engineering, veterinary and public health. Thus, enabling speed-to-‐market connections that can shorten the commercialization pathway of medical devices and drugs to FDA approval. Under two years in design, The OneHealth PlusTM Biocorridor has seized global attention and is gaining momentum as the epicenter of Texas’ biotech industry cluster with initial attraction of $88.5M private sector project and 850 new jobs.

A community investment of $2.5M for business incubator space within the biocorridor that is serviced by the region’s economic development organization provides a competitive playing field for prospective companies. Beyond an entrepreneurial destination, the OneHealth PlusTM Biocorridor represents a more prominent role for universities in supporting the 21st-¬‐century biomedical and biotech industries.

Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

University of Toledo

After nearly six years, the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier program that financially supported the start-up of regional commercialization centers or “Edison Technology Incubator Programs” and “Entrepreneurial Signature Programs” now needed to make existing centers more sustainable and effective. This was the case with the programs in Northwest Ohio. It was the University of Toledo (an Edison Technology Incubator program) that approached the private entity Regional Growth Partnership in creating a joint program that brought together the public and private resources together for a more effective outcome for the region. Rocket Ventures, LLC is a joint venture between the University of Toledo’s Innovation Enterprises program and the Regional Growth Partnership, the region’s lead economic development organization. With a vision to create high-tech, high-wage jobs and to generate wealth in Northwest Ohio, Rocket Ventures, LLC is a comprehensive program for physical incubation, virtual incubation, pre-seed capital, and demonstration funding for technology-based client companies.

Contact: D’Naie Jacobs
Phone: 419.530.6164


Excellence in Leadership and Collaboration

East Carolina University

East Carolina University made an aggressive effort to identify the critical issues that were limiting eastern communities and creating barriers to increased vitality and competitiveness. Outreach efforts proved that communities needed resources, additional capacity to help identify and acquire resources, assistance with project implementation, and administrative/management support for struggling small towns. ECU established the Community Enhancement and Economic Transformation Initiative (CEETI), a three-tiered approach which includes the Municipal Management and Innovation initiative, the Talent Enhancement Demonstration Grants program, and the ECU Outreach Network.

Contact: Kenny Flowers
Phone: 252.737.1342


Excellence in Research and Analysis

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University recognized that local economies are the building blocks for national ones. By recognizing the impacts of plant closings and mass layoffs in local social, political, and environmental events, this toolbox tries to bring a comparative space-time perspective to the understanding of unemployment impact. Spatial variations in unemployment across localities have long been the focus of policy initiatives by regional and local governments. On the theoretical front, local economic growth has been stimulated by ‘new economic geography’ or ‘geographical economics’, which adds a significant new dimension to analyzing the role of geography and location in economic phenomena. On the methodological front, economic development is increasingly being supported by the emergence of new space-time analytical approaches, with an explosion of interest in new models and techniques of spatial data analysis and GIS. Given the very current discourse regarding Economic Recession, Resilience and Recovery, this work will show how the development of comparative space-time analysis toolbox fit into this agenda.

Contact: Xinyue Ye, Ph.D.
Phone: 419.372.8710


Excellence in Talent Development

East Carolina University

The Middle School Innovators Academy (MSIA) immerses students in an intensive innovation curriculum and environment in which they must utilize STEAM principles and skills. East Carolina University designed the MSIA to combine a multi-week afterschool program with a 9-day, hands-on capstone innovation experience to train young innovators in 1) the visual, translating language of design, 2) leadership of the problem-solving innovation process, and 3) communication of the investment value of their ideas and solutions. This approach and infrastructure creates a complete set of STEAM learning resources, programs, and experiences, utilizing a previously implemented and tested conceptual framework for informal science education and innovation training. This framework is guided by the principles that the design process is the bridge between the arts and the sciences and enables creative and innovative activity that draws upon STEAM knowledge and skills.

Contact: Ruthann Cage
Phone: 252.737.1343

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University Economic Development Association
PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227

216.200.UEDA (8332)