University Economic Development Association

University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Selects Finalists for 2020 Awards of Excellence

Finalists Representing Leading Economic Development Initiatives Across North America, to Present at Digital Summit

PITTSBURGH, PA – August 11, 2020 – The 2020 UEDA Awards of Excellence finalists have been chosen from a group of highly impactful and creative programs and initiatives. Higher education institutions and organizations across North America submit nominations annually for innovative programs that focus on developing economic prosperity in their communities and beyond. A panel of university and economic development professionals have chosen 15 finalists from the group of nominated projects.

The UEDA Awards are designed to validate and promote these programs, and to encourage their adoption by other institutions and communities. Program categories include: Innovation, Talent, and Place, as well as the intersections of these three categories.

“Participation in UEDA’s Awards of Excellence Program has shown that when these unique and innovative initiatives are given a wider audience to share their successes, they spur further engagement and inspire other professionals and institutions to introduce these best practices in their home regions,” said Margo Fliss, chair of the UEDA Awards of Excellence committee.

Participants attending UEDA’s Digital Summit (#UEDASummit), taking place September 21 – September 24 2020, will judge the Awards finalists to select a leading initiative in each category. Criterion for judging includes replicability, scalability, sustainability, impact, and originality.

The 2020 UEDA Awards of Excellence finalists in each category are as follows (in no particular order):


Indiana University Bloomington – Building the Indiana Uplands Regional Defense Cluster

University of South Carolina – Center for Applied Innovation, Advance Analytics and Digital Transformation

Jackson State University – Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development


Northeast Wisconsin Technical College – Learning for Independence Cooperative Educational Service Agency 7 (CESA-7)

Seton Hall University – Market Research Center

Indiana University East – Business Opportunities for Self Starters (BOSS)

Indiana University East – Cash Equals Opportunities (CEOs)

Talent + Place:

Indiana University East – In Your Business Television

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College – Industrial Maintenance Certificate for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections

California State University Northridge – Pathways to Success Program


University of KentuckySoutheast Kentucky Downtown Revitalization Network

University of Texas at Dallas – University of Texas Dallas Campus Landscape Enhancement Project (CLEP)

Virginia Tech – Vibrant Virginia

Place + Innovation:

University of Hawaii Pacific Business – Sustainable Ocean Systems (SOS)

University of Kentucky – The Food Connection at the University of Kentucky

“In today’s uncertain economic environment, it is more important than ever for higher education institutions to engage with local economies and build infrastructures that can not only withstand but also thrive in an uncharted economic environments,” said Tim Hindes, UEDA Executive Director. “This year’s finalists represent some of the best university-lead programs across North America, and contribute to much of their local and state economic success.”

The theme of this year’s Summit is “Redesigning the Future Amidst Dynamic Change: A Virtual Economic Accelerator Summit.” Economic recovery is imperative. We must not only consider regional recovery but establishing resiliency for long-term survival in an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, UEDA is pleased to host a Virtual Economic Accelerator Summit assembling economic development minds from across the globe to collaborate and co-design strategies to leverage higher education institutions to advance economic acceleration and resiliency. Industry professionals, thought leaders, universities, small business owners, and economic development officers are encouraged to not only attend, but also invite their ecosystems to engage in thought-provoking discussion, design thinking sessions, and mass problem-solving whiteboarding activities.

The UEDA Annual Summit is a must-attend for those interested in top economic development programs, universities and small businesses seeking dynamic tactics for economic recovery, and much more.

In keeping with our theme, we are delighted to announce Eric Koester, Founder & CEO of the Creator Institute as our Monday, September, 21 keynote speaker for Ecosystem day. Eric is a serial entrepreneur having raised tens of millions of venture capital from investors from Kleiner Perkins, Ashton Kutcher, SV Angel, Floodgate Capital, Felicis Ventures, OS Fund, Meg Whitman and more. He’s a founding partner and served as the managing partner of NextGen Venture Partners, a seed-stage venture fund. Eric’s many successes have lead him to be the only two-time entrepreneurship professor of the year at Georgetown University and the founder/CEO of the Creator Institute. He is a leading expert on how we create credibility and expertise to live an entrepreneurial life, and his innovative courses have been recognized by his peers as the most innovative in the country.

Complete summit details are at

To register go to

About UEDA
Established in 1976, the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) is the cornerstone membership organization representing higher education, private sector and community economic development stakeholders. UEDA works to expand economic opportunity in our communities by leveraging research, community resources, campus planning, talent development, and technology commercialization.  UEDA’s mission is to serve its members by enhancing members’ abilities to deliver economic development benefits through engagement with higher education.