Awards of Excellence 2017 Finalists

Congratulations to the 2017 UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists who will present their project for attendee voting at the 2017 Annual Summit in Long Beach, CA! 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.

New Jersey Innovation Institute
Submitted by the New Jersey Innovation Institute

Innovation Gateway
Submitted by the University of Georgia

Innovation Challenge
Submitted by California State University, Long Beach

Lehigh-KEEN Initiative [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by Lehigh University

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.

Submitted by Interise

WGU’s Responsible Borrowing Initiatives
Submitted by Western Governors University

BOSS, Business Opportunities for Self-Starters
Submitted by Indiana University East


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.

Community Scholars
Submitted by California State University, Long Beach

Gap Analysis Reporting
Submitted by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education

The Long Beach College Promise
Submitted by California State University, Long Beach

Women Who Weld [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development- EDA University Center for Regional Economic Innovation (REI)

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.

MyPlate the Musical: A Program to Increase Nutrition and Physical Activity Knowledge and Behavior in Elementary Schools to Combat Childhood Obesity
Submitted by California State University, Northridge

3 WINS Fitness
Submitted by California State University, Northridge

University of Alaska: Fisheries, Seafood and Maritime Initiative – Maritime Works
Submitted by The University of Alaska

Submitted by Northern Illinois University


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.

Asset Based Planning in Rural Tennessee Counties
Submitted by The University of Tennessee

Archway Partnership
Submitted by The University of Georgia

Regional Workforce Development in Rural British Columbia, Canada
Submitted by Selkirk College

A Tale of Two Cities: How Sea Grant Helped Tybee Island and St. Marys to Save Money While Saving Lives [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by The University of Georgia

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.

Sustainable Economic Development Initiative
Submitted by The University of West Florida

Propelling a University-Driven Innovation Ecosystem
Submitted by The University of Nevada, Reno

Launch Alaska [ CATEGORY WINNER ]
Submitted by The University of Alaska Center for Economic Development

USF Tampa Bay Technology Incubator
Submitted by The University of South Florida

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Contact Us

University Economic Development Association
PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227

216.200.UEDA (8332)