University Economic Development Association

2020 Finalists

Awards of Excellence Finalists

Congratulations to the 2020 UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists who will present their project for attendee voting at the 2020 UEDA Digital Summit. UEDA 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.

Building the Indiana Uplands Regional Defense Cluster

submitted by the University of Indiana Bloomington

Center for Applied Innovation, Advanced Analytics, and Digital Transformation

submitted by the University of South Carolina

Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

submitted by Jackson State University


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.

Business Opportunities for Self Starters (BOSS)

submitted by Indiana University East

Learning for Independence for Cooperative Educational Service Agency 7 (CESA 7)

submitted by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College


submitted by Indiana University East

Market Research Center

submitted by Seton Hall University


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.

CSUN Pathways to Success Program

submitted by California State University Northridge

In Your Business Television

submitted by Indiana University East

Industrial Maintenance Certificate for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections

submitted by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College


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.

UT Dallas Campus Landscape Enhancement Project (CLEP)

submitted by The University of Texas at Dallas

Vibrant Virginia

submitted by Virginia Tech

Southeast Kentucky Downtown Revitalization Project

submitted by University of Kentucky


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.

The Food Connection at the University of Kentucky

submitted by The University of Kentucky

Sustainable Ocean Systems (SOS)

submitted by University of Hawaii Pacific Business Center Program

University Economic Development Association

PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
216.200.UEDA (8332)