University Economic Development Association

Ecosystems Design Network

Funded in part by a grant from The Lemelson Foundation, UEDA has steadily worked to increase awareness of the roles, resources, and players in regional ecosystems, whether educationally, entrepreneurially, or invention-oriented. Expanding on this initial work, UEDA is now leading the intentional process of making regional ecosystems more sustainable, helping ecosystems and their individual participants determine best practices, as well as define distinct roles and contributions that allow them to adapt based on dynamic changes within their region. Each ecosystem faces unique challenges or gaps, but there are shared difficulties and teachable strategies that strengthen regional ecosystems and, by extension, national ones. The Ecosystem Design Network offers access to resources, cross-ecosystem collaboration opportunities, and technical assistance regarding strategic partners building, funding access, and more. 

The Ecosystems Design Network Provides:

  • Technical assistance for the ecosystem in the form of gap analysis and strategic consulting workshops.
  • Online, collaborative environments with access to other ecosystems for cross-system collaboration.
  • Access to tools and resources specifically helpful for ecosystems.
  • Recognition and designation as a UEDA EDN Ecosystem.
  • Access to funding opportunities for ecosystem development.

Through the first stage of this ecosystems work, UEDA has conducted virtual workshops with current UEDA members and ecosystem participants to explore the resources, roles, and major players in each regional ecosystem, employing a human-centered design approach to find ways to strengthen, expand, or revitalize these ecosystems to support economic and community recovery in each area.

As practitioners and innovators, UEDA members learn more when they engage with others to gather ideas, build strategy, and position their own ecosystems to thrive even in challenging times. Learning how one or several ecosystems are thriving independently or interdependently provides UEDA members and others a model for sustainable success – showcasing best practices that are partially or wholly transferable across economic and regional contexts. The UEDA Ecosystems Design Network facilitates opportunities for individual organizations to create new ecosystems, for existing ecosystems to optimize or expand their efforts, and for thriving ecosystems to learn from and collaborate with ecosystems in other regions. With an emphasis on innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, and sustainable recovery, participation in the UEDA Ecosystems Design Network represents a meaningful investment in the future of your organization’s and ecosystem’s regional wellbeing.

In recognition of program participants, those who participate in  Ecosystems Design Network programming will be awarded a Digital Badge to feature on member websites within their ecosystem.

How to Get Started

The first step towards participating in the Ecosystems Design Network is to register your ecosystem with UEDA. Registered ecosystems are included on UEDA ecosystem communications and highlighted on our map of ecosystems. We invite you to provide the essential information regarding your ecosystem, the region where it operates, its respective participating organizations, and any contact information you’d like to share for future use in collaboration with other UEDA member institutions or ecosystems.

If you’re invested in fully benefiting from the programming of the Ecosystems Design Network, we encourage you to join us as a UEDA member. Doing so ensures comprehensive access to our program offerings, as well as future benefits outside of the Ecosystems Design Network. Learn more about UEDA Member Benefits.

Participation in the Ecosystems Design Network is by invitation only and exclusively includes those ecosystems that are currently registered with UEDA. Ecosystems Design Network programming is based on funding and capacity availability.

UEDA Ecosystem Design Network Ecosystems

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