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University of Maryland Named Finalist for 2017 APLU Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities Awards

October 6, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland has been named as one of five finalists for the  Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) fifth annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Awards, which recognize extraordinary university economic engagement efforts with four different awards. The winners will be announced on November 12 at APLU’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Of the four award categories, UMD is a finalist in two: the Place Award, which focuses on universities excelling in community, social, and cultural development work, and the top prize in the competition, the Economic Engagement Connections Award, which recognizes the institution that is doing the most to build connections across all categories of economic engagement — innovation and entrepreneurship, talent development, and social, community, and cultural development.

“Public research universities have a core mission to advance economic development in their regions. That responsibility takes various forms – whether through workforce development, research, or private sector partnerships – and all are critically important to creating a thriving economy,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “This year’s finalists for the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Awards have not just made a concerted effort to drive economic progress in their regions; they have designed programs that have delivered broad-based prosperity. APLU applauds this year’s finalists and we look forward to spotlighting their exceptional efforts so other public research universities can draw lessons from their success.”

In 2015, UMD launched the Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private investment to rapidly revitalize the Baltimore Avenue corridor and academic campus, which includes dynamic academic spaces, a public-private research hub and vibrant downtown community. The initiative is the result of cooperative work between the City of College Park, Prince George’s County, state, private developers and the university. Recent additions to Greater College Park include the Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center, MilkBoy ArtHouse, and the College Park Academy.  

As part of the Greater College Park initiative, UMD debuted the Discovery District in 2017, encompassing more than 150 acres that stretch from Baltimore Avenue to the research-rich and metro-accessible community along River Road. Discovery District is the epicenter of academic, research and economic development as home to the research park formerly known as M Square, and features amenities like The Hotel at the University of Maryland and the The Art Walk. 

APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), which brings together public university leaders focused on economic engagement issues, designed and implements the IEP Awards program. To be eligible for an award, an institution must first earn the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University designation from APLU. To receive that designation universities conduct a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement efforts that includes input from external stakeholders. 

The other finalists for the IEP awards are the Georgia Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, Kansas State University and Pennsylvania State University.