University Economic Development Association

AoE-Logo-No-YearFinalists, Representing Leading Economic Development Initiatives Across North America, Will Compete at Annual Summit In October

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA – August 18, 2016 – The 2016 UEDA Awards of Excellence finalists have been chosen and the competition this year is at an all time high. Each year, universities and organizations across North America submit nominations for innovative programs that focus on developing economic prosperity in their communities and beyond. A panel university and economic development professionals have chosen 20 finalists from the group of nominated projects.

The UEDA awards are designed to help accelerate these programs by recognizing cutting edge initiatives, and to promote their adoption by other universities and communities. Program categories include: Innovation, Talent, and Place, as well as the intersections of these three categories.

Those attending UEDA’s Annual Summit (#UEDASummit), taking place October 16-19, 2016, in Roanoke, Virginia, will judge the Awards finalists. Criterion for judging includes initiative replicability, scalability, sustainability, impact, and originality. The Awards are the cornerstone program of the UEDA Annual Summit, whose program features best practices in economic development.

The 2016 UEDA Awards of Excellence finalists in each category are as follows:


  • Kansas State University: TechAccel
  • Ohio University: Innovation Strategy Investment Program
  • Kansas State University: Silo-Busting Strategic Collaboration Series
  • University of Wisconsin System: University of Wisconsin Economic Development: A University-Government-Business Alignment, Threading the Triple Helix: University-Government-Business Alignment

Innovation + Talent

  • University of North Alabama: Shoals Shift
  • Indiana University: B-Start
  • Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis: DIVE (Discovery, Innovation, and Venture Enterprise)
  • Santa Fe Community College: Santa Fe Community College Training Center Corporation

Talent + Place

  • East Carolina University: Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Academy
  • State University of New York at Oswego: Central New York Agricultural Testing and Analysis Labs
  • Washington State University: Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program
  • Virginia Tech: Realigning Virginia’s Coal Industry Workforce


  • University of Kansas: RedTire: Helping to Sustain Rural Businesses in the U.S.
  • Indiana University Kokomo: Steward of Place: How Indiana University Kokomo Engages with the North Central Indiana Region to Support Economic Development
  • University of Alaska / SBDC: KimIan
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro: UNCG + HQ Greensboro: Connecting the Under-connected to Catalyze the Innovation Ecosystem

Place + Innovation

  • WT Enterprise Center: Incubation with Urgency
  • East Carolina University: ECU Innovation Design Lab
  • Urban Innovation21: Public-Private Partnership Driving Inclusive Innovation
  • Colorado State University: The Energy Institute at the Powerhouse Energy Campus

“For the past several years, UEDA has encouraged higher education institutions to think more comprehensively about how economic development and engagement activities connect to each other and to an institution’s core mission activities,” said Tim Hindes, UEDA Executive Director. “These finalists represent model programs driving regional growth in their perspective regions.”

The Annual Summit 2016 will be held at the Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center. Early bird registration ends at midnight EDT on August 31, 2016. Befitting the location, this year’s theme is “It Takes a Region: Talent + Innovation + Place.” The city of Roanoke will provide a perfect backdrop to participants in the higher education, economic development, governmental, and private sectors. This is a must-attend for those interested in top economic development programs, students looking for career paths, investors, university representatives and professionals engaged in developing regional innovation clusters.

This year’s summit agenda includes such topics as The Power of Community Partnerships in Funding Workforce Development Initiatives; A Holistic View of Higher Education’s Role in Community Engagement and Economic Development; A Holistic View of Higher Education’s Role in Community Engagement and Economic Development; Merging Dynamic Interests of Universities and Communities; and much more. Keynote speakers include U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and Chief Operating Officer for the Economic Development Administration, Matt S. Erskine and President, Virginia Tech, Timothy D. Sands.

Complete summit details are at

To register go to