University Economic Development Association

More than thirty UEDA members and Board convened in Washington D.C. last month to discuss the Association’s operational plan and provide updates on each of the committees’ action items. “A special thanks to all of those who were able to attend the UEDA Spring meeting,” said UEDA President Chuck Shoopman. “We learned from our presenters and each other while making good progress with face-to-face committee meetings. The energy in the room was positive and productive,” Shoopman added.

In addition to the Board and Committee work sessions, delegates were briefed on various policy issues and trends from key national leaders and partner organizations. Chris Mustain, Vice President at the Council on Competitiveness encouraged a continued working relationship between UEDA and the Council. “Working with and leveraging our nation’s higher education institutions is the only way we can effectively address ‘grand challenges’ in the areas of energy, national security, immigration reform and advanced supercomputing,” Mustain noted.  Among the Council’s key initiatives is encouraging sound policies that can support technology commercialization and help to advance new approaches to manufacturing to include additive manufacturing which is also referred to as 3D printing.

Jim Woodell, Director of Innovation and Technology Policy at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Institutions (APLU), updated UEDA members on new thinking and models to measure economic development impact and performance. APLU and UEDA have formed a new working partnership in recent months and will continue to work together on this and other economic development areas.

Jeff Finkle, President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) updated the group on the work of IEDC that involves higher education. This includes the Economic Development Research Partnership which is an investor led group providing research into some of economic developments most discussed topics.
The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Thomas Guevara concluded the presentations highlighting the critical intersections that exist between higher education, the private sector and public policy. “Together we must remain focused on ensuring that the four pillars of an innovation eco-system which are 1) Basic Research, 2) Applied Research, 3) Technology Development, and 4) Commercialization, remain strong in our country,” Guevara said. “Each is found and should be nurtured within our nation’s universities as central component to our overall competitiveness.”

If you missed the chance to see your friends in DC – remember October 27-30th is just around the corner and we will be in Pittsburgh at the UEDA Annual Summit.