Awards of Excellence Finalists
Congratulations to the 2021 UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists. Leading initiatives from across North America competed in a six-month process, including application, peer review, online presentations, and, ultimately, selection by attendees of the annual UEDA Summit as category leaders. 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.
James Madison University JUDGES’ AWARD
University of Hawaii – Pacific Business Center Program
University of North Dakota – Center for Innovation CATEGORY LEADER
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.
Florida Atlantic University
University of Alaska Center for Economic Development CATEGORY LEADER
University of Iowa
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
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.
University of Kentucky
Western Illinois University, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs CATEGORY LEADER
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.
Georgia Southern University Business Innovation Group
University of Georgia
University of Missouri – Kansas City CATEGORY LEADER
Wichita 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.
America’s SBDC New Jersey (NJSBDC)
California State University, Northridge CATEGORY LEADER
WiSys / UW System
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.