University Economic Development Association

2022 Finalists

Awards of Excellence Finalists

Congratulations to the 2022 UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists. Leading initiatives from across North America compete 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 represent the top university-based economic development initiatives in the country, as judged by their peers.


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.

University of Hawaii Pacific Business Center Program

Developing a Digital Economy in Yap

University of Kansas CATEGORY LEADER

Haskell Environmental Research Studies Institute (HERS)

University of Oklahoma

OU Startup Programs


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.

efactory – Missouri State University

Supercharge Southwest Missouri (Supercharge SWMO)

Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering CATEGORY LEADER

Joint School’s Institute for Research Technologies

Tech Parks Arizona, University of Arizona Center for Innovation JUDGES’ AWARD

Global Advantage Soft-Landing Program


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.

BGSU Center for Regional Development

BGSU Reimagining Rural Regions (R3) Initiative

Georgia Southern University

Business Innovation Group- GENIE (Georgia Enterprise Network for Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

University of Hawaii Pacific Business Center Program CATEGORY LEADER

Together We can Go Far: Pacific Farmer Organizations as Drivers of Rural Economic Development

Engaged University

This category recognizes initiatives that demonstrate excellence in linking all three legacy award categories. Projects included successfully engage multiple community partners to link, leverage and connect efforts in Talent, Innovation, and Place.

Tech Parks Arizona, University of Arizona

The Refinery / UA Tech Park at The Bridges

Towson University CATEGORY LEADER

The StarTUp

University of Kentucky

UK Economic Development Collaborative

Wichita State University

Wichita State University Innovation Campus

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

This category recognizes projects that demonstrate excellence in fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in a community. Projects in this category attempt to make their communities more equitable by creating opportunities for historically underserved populations, including but not limited to communities of color, unemployed and underemployed workers, persons with disabilities, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, veterans and military spouses, and other groups facing labor market barriers.

Florida Atlantic University

The FAU Innovation and Business Development Branch

University of Kansas – Center for Digital Inclusion CATEGORY LEADER

Evidence-based Technology Education for Women Transitioning from Incarceration

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky Supplier Diversity