ASU lauded for efforts in economic development

Arizona State University has been working to become a powerhouse of economic local and global development, and the hard work is being noticed. ASU received recognition last week from the University Economic Development Association, the premier organization for higher education in the economic development field, at their 2014 conference.

The annual summit, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, recognizes university members who are transforming their campuses into hubs of economic development through innovative initiatives. Awards in excellence are given in five focus areas: Community Connected Campus, Research and Analysis, Leadership and Collaboration, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Talent Development.

Numerous ASU programs and people were featured throughout the conference. Perhaps the most notable prize was the Judges’ Award, given to a finalist that the assocation's awards committee deems worthy of special recognition. ASU received the Judges’ Award this year for its overall economic development activities and impact, including three awards finalists. Judges noted that these economic development efforts demonstrated exceptional talent, innovation and sense of place.

In addition to receiving the Judges’ Award for overall commitment to economic development, ASU’s Alexandria Co-Working Network won the Community Connected Campus Award. This unique program, launched in May 2013, brings people in the community together to collaborate in public libraries. It allows participants to create a network of people to connect with and collaborate on projects, as well as share valuable resources.

Several ASU faculty and staff members were actively involved throughout the conference. Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, along with Chris Mackay, economic development director for the City of Phoenix, participated in a panel discussion about university-city collaboration. George Raudenbush, executive director of analytics for ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, participated in a panel on the research database SciVal. Janice Kleinwort, executive director of economic affairs for the ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise Developement, is a board member for the association and led the agenda subcommittee for the conference. The opportunity for ASU employees to share their expertise is significant, given that 223 people from more than 30 states and two Canadian provinces participated in the 2014 conference.

“We were pleased not only to have had a strong leadership presence at the UEDA conference this year, but especially for the recognition of ASU’s comprehensive activities in economic development,” says Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development. “It is certainly an honor for our university to be the sole recipient of the Judges’ Award this year. We are committed to fostering economic development, and I’m delighted that we have been recognized for our efforts.”