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ASU receives innovation honor

Named an an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University for its strong commitment to economic engagement


July 18, 2016

In recognition of its strong commitment to economic engagement, Arizona State University has been designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

The designation recognizes public research universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development. 

“At ASU, we believe that university research and innovation should serve as an engine for economic growth and societal benefit,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU. “Being recognized as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by APLU is a testimony to the efforts by our faculty, staff and students to advance ASU as an intellectually vibrant environment focused on outcomes.”

ASU received the designation after an independent panel reviewed the school’s application, which included a 360-degree review and analysis of its economic engagement activities that were conducted with internal and external stakeholder input. It is one of 54 public schools in North America to be designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University and now qualifies to compete with other North American public universities for APLU’s 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Awards.

“It is central to our mission to devote the university’s talent and resources to revitalize and advance the region’s economy,” said Todd Hardy, senior economic development advisor at ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development. “Inclusion on this list of Innovation and Economic Prosperity universities will only strengthen our ability to advance the social, economic, cultural and overall wellbeing of the communities we serve.”

Focused on developing a robust and diverse workforce for the state of Arizona for sustainable economic growth, the university has doubled the number of degrees awarded to minority students since 2005. It is also providing aspiring college students in Arizona and beyond a direct pathway to college through innovative programs, including the Starbucks College Achievement Plan and the Global Freshman Academy.

ASU has developed key regional economic development partnerships, including ones with the City of Phoenix for its Downtown Phoenix campus, the city of Mesa for ASU Polytechnic campus, and Mayo Clinic, to connect talent and innovation to place-based development. The development of SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, has been responsible for the creation of 1,500 jobs and an economic output of more than $588 million to the Greater Phoenix economy. SkySong’s economic impact is estimated to grow to $32 billion in the next 30 years.

“Public research universities such as Arizona State University serve as economic engines for their local communities and states by conducting cutting-edge research that yields breakthroughs that improve life well beyond the confines of campus,” said APLU president Peter McPherson. “Equally important, these institutions cultivate the talent necessary to help fledgling business take flight and ensure existing enterprises have the human capital they need to maintain their dynamism.”

To learn more regarding ASU’s economic development efforts and partnerships, click here.

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