Awards of Excellence 2016 Finalists

Congratulations to the 2016 UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists who will present their project for attendee voting at the 2016 Annual Summit in Roanoke, VA! Annual Summit attendees will listen and vote on the category winners. These projects, both finalists and winners, represent the top university-based economic development initiatives in the country, as judged by their peers.


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.

Submitted by Kansas State University

Innovation Strategy Investment Program
Submitted by Ohio University

Silo-Busting Strategic Collaboration Series [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by Kansas State University

University of Wisconsin Economic Development: A University-Government-Business Alignment, Threading the Triple Helix: University-Government-Business Alignment
Submitted by University of Wisconsin System

Innovation + Talent

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.

Shoals Shift [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by University of North Alabama

Submitted by Indiana University

DIVE (Discovery, Innovation, and Venture Enterprise)
Submitted by Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis

Santa Fe Community College Training Center Corporation
Submitted by Santa Fe Community College


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.

No Finalists recognized in this category for 2016.

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.

Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Academy
Submitted by East Carolina University

Central New York Agricultural Testing and Analysis Labs [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by State University of New York at Oswego

Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program
Submitted by Washington State University

Realigning Virginia’s Coal Industry Workforce
Submitted by Virginia Tech


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.

RedTire: Helping to Sustain Rural Businesses in the U.S. [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by University of Kansas

Steward of Place: How Indiana University Kokomo Engages with the North Central Indiana Region to Support Economic Development
Submitted by Indiana University Kokomo

Submitted by University of Alaska / SBDC

UNCG + HQ Greensboro: Connecting the Under-connected to Catalyze the Innovation Ecosystem
Submitted by University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Place + Innovation

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.

Incubation with Urgency
Submitted by WT Enterprise Center

ECU Innovation Design Lab
Submitted by East Carolina University

Public-Private Partnership Driving Inclusive Innovation
Submitted by Urban Innovation21

The Energy Institute at the Powerhouse Energy Campus [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by Colorado State University

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University Economic Development Association
PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227

216.200.UEDA (8332)