U-M honored nationally for economic development commitment


The University of Michigan is one of four public universities recognized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for exemplary work statewide in entrepreneurship, technology transfer and business development.

U-M has won the APLU’s inaugural Economic Prosperity Award for its efforts in working with public- and private-sector partners in Michigan to support economic development. Other winners are Northern Illinois University, the State University of New York and the University of Cincinnati. 

“These four institutions demonstrate the critical role that public universities play in taking cutting-edge research and translating it into new opportunities for economic growth with businesses in their state,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “All of these schools illustrate a core responsibility of public universities — giving back to their communities and state in ways that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for residents of that state.”

Specifically, U-M was recognized for the work of the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy, the Business Engagement Center, and the Michigan Venture Center.

IRLEE provides research, consulting and technical assistance with partners in Michigan and the Great Lakes region, focusing on business assistance, interventions for communities in economic transition and economic impact analysis. The BEC serves as a single, visible point of entry and “front door” to the university for industry seeking to partner with U-M, while the MVC provides a central hub for university startup ventures and access point for entrepreneurs and venture funding partners that want to start new businesses based on U-M research.

“For several years, it has been a top priority at the University of Michigan to strengthen the processes and relationships across campus, within the state and beyond that allow us to help catalyze the continuing vitalization of the economy,” said Stephen Forrest, vice president for research. “We are pleased to be part of APLU’s effort to encourage these engagements at universities across the nation.”

APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity recently spearheaded an effort calling for public universities to use APLU assessment tools to evaluate each university’s particular engagement in regional economic development.

Participating universities then submitted applications, which were scored based on criteria emphasizing universities’ development of their economic engagement enterprise, planning and strategic communications around these efforts, and efforts in encouraging economic engagement among peer institutions.


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