Penn State finalist for 2021 APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity Awards


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named Penn State University among six university finalists for its ninth annual University Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) Awards, recognizing the Penn State Invent initiative and its LaunchBox & Innovation Hub Network.

The winners will be announced at the association’s annual meeting in November. Penn State is a finalist with the University of Cincinnati for the IEP Talent Award, recognizing exemplary initiatives in education and workforce development.

“The Invent Penn State LaunchBox & Innovation Hub Network, integrated into 21 communities in Pennsylvania, has created more than 150 jobs and helped thousands of entrepreneurs launch their startups – and as we continue to grow, we remain committed to providing the entrepreneurial resources and educational opportunities that every community needs to thrive, ”said Lora Weiss, senior vice president of research at Penn State. “We are honored to have been recognized by the APLU alongside other outstanding universities for our dedication to supporting employment and generating positive economic impact throughout Pennsylvania. “

The network began in 2015 when five Penn State campuses received grants from the Penn State Invent Seed Grant program to establish community innovation centers. Over the next three years, Invent Penn State expanded the network to 21 campuses, which now gives communities free access to coworking spaces, makerspaces, acceleration programs, pitch contests, series from conferences, experts and mentors, business advice, legal advice and IP. , micro-grants and spaces for community engagement.

Each LaunchBox and innovation hub provides resources specific to the needs of their community and collaborates internally with the network, sharing programming and best practices. In the first five years, the network engaged over 10,000 students and faculty, assisted over 3,300 entrepreneurs, and provided free legal and intellectual property advice to over 1,500 companies. During this time, more than 160 startups have formed with the help of Invent Penn State.

Penn State is also a finalist for the IEP Economic Engagement Connections Award, which is the top prize in the competition, recognizing overall excellence and leveraging all three award categories.

“Congratulations to this year’s Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Awards finalists for their outstanding work in advancing regional economic development,” said Peter McPherson, President of APLU. “Public research universities are major engines of economic development in their region, and the IEP finalists have distinguished themselves as leaders in this field. “

To be eligible for an IEP award, an institution must first achieve the title of University of Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) from the APLU, which recognizes institutional commitment to regional economic development.

To achieve the IEP designation, universities conduct a rigorous self-assessment of their economic engagement activities that includes input from external stakeholders. As part of the self-assessment, each establishment identifies areas for growth and improvement within its business of economic engagement and has developed an improvement plan. This work demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning and the enhancement of this type of vital engagement for universities and their regional partners.

Almost 70 institutions have been nominated by IEP universities since the launch of the program in 2012.

About the APLU

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land granting institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, the APLU program is built on the three pillars of increasing graduation and academic success, advancement of scientific research and broadening engagement. Each year, member campuses welcome 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and lead 49.2 billion dollars in university research.

About Invent Penn State

Invent Penn State is a Commonwealth initiative aimed at stimulating the economic development, job creation and career success of students.

The Invent Penn State LaunchBox & Innovation Hub network is made up of 21 hubs integrated into the Penn State campus communities offering free coworking space, makerspace, acceleration programs, pitch competitions, speaker series, a access to experts and mentors; and legal and IP advice through Penn State Law clinics. Five years after opening, the Invent Penn State LaunchBox & Innovation Hub network has supported 3,325 community entrepreneurs, created 194.5 jobs and helped start 164 new businesses in Pennsylvania.

To find a location nearby, visit the website.

To view the startups affiliated with Penn State, visit StartupNavigator.psu.edu.

Entrepreneurs looking for resources can visit ResourceNavigator.psu.edu.


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