Leader in Innovation

December 21, 2015
liquid dropper dripping fluid into test tubes

Innovation at the University of Minnesota doesn't just happen—it's cultivated, supported, and celebrated. Now, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has recognized the U of M as the most innovative public research university in the nation.

APLU's annual Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Awards honor public universities that are actively engaged in promoting regional economic development. One winner is named for each of four categories—talent, innovation, place, and connections. The U of M's award for "innovation" recognized how the University fuels entrepreneurship and builds resilient communities through research and innovation.

APLU highlighted several noteworthy examples of innovation at the U of M, including MnDRIVE, a partnership between the University and the state of Minnesota that targets research in key and emerging industries to address societal challenges. The organization also highlighted the record 16 startup companies the U of M launched in 2015, which brings the total number of startups based on U of M research to 86 since 2006.

"This award demonstrates the University's commitment to making a positive impact on the communities of Minnesota," said Maura Donovan, executive director of University Economic Development. "By strengthening business and promoting discovery, entrepreneurship, and workforce development, the U of M is contributing significantly to our state's vibrant innovation ecosystem, positioning Minnesota as a leader in improving our world."