U of M named winner in 2015 APLU Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named the University of Minnesota a winner of its fourth annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards.

The awards, which honor public universities that are actively engaged in promoting regional economic development, were awarded on the final day of the APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., on Tuesday, Nov. 17. APLU named one winner for each of the award’s four categories — talent, innovation, place and connections — which recognize different components of economic engagement. The U of M’s award was in the “innovation” category, which recognized how the University fuels entrepreneurship and builds resilient communities through research and innovation.

“This award recognizes the University’s longstanding tradition of innovation and our commitment to Minnesota’s communities and its economy,” said Brian Herman, Ph.D., the U’s vice president for research. “We are honored and excited to receive it.”

APLU highlighted several noteworthy examples of innovation at the U of M, including MnDRIVE, an innovative partnership between the University and the state of Minnesota that targets research in key and emerging industries to address grand societal challenges. The organization also highlighted the record 16 startup companies launched in 2015 by the Office for Technology Commercialization, 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, Ph.D., 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.”

The U of M was one of four land-grant universities to receive the 2015 award. The others were Auburn University, which received an award for the “place” category; Clemson University, which took the award in the “talent” category; and University of Maryland, which garnered the “connections” award.

“Each of the four winners have demonstrated an institution-wide commitment to economic engagement and have delivered on that commitment by spurring economic development in their communities,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “APLU applauds their work and is happy to spotlight these universities as models of economic engagement.”

For more information on the awards, see the APLU press release.

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