LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is one of four finalists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category of the upcoming University Economic Development Association Awards of Excellence program. Julie Nagel, interim associate vice chancellor for innovation and collaboration, will make a formal presentation at the annual UEDA Summit, September 27-30 in Anchorage, Alaska. Winners will be chosen by the summit attendees.
Each year, leading initiatives across North America are nominated and evaluated by peers, recognizing innovative approaches to advancing economic prosperity in their respective regions. The five categories of awards are designed to accelerate economic development by recognizing cutting edge initiatives and promoting their adoption by other institutions and communities:
- Community-Connected Campus
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Research & Analysis
- Leadership & Collaboration
- Talent Development.
Criteria for judging are initiative replicability, scalability, sustainability, impact and originality.
In 2013, KU was a national finalist with the Bioscience & Technology Business Center in the Community-Connected Campus category.
In its category this year, KU will present on the Entrepreneurs@KU initiative, a transparent and supportive infrastructure to assist faculty and staff in starting companies. The initiative is housed at KU Innovation and Collaboration, which Nagel also leads. Other finalists in this category are Penn State, the University of Southern Indiana and the University of New Mexico & New Mexico Angels Partnership.
“Institutions of higher education are the drivers of modern economic development,” said Rich Overmoyer, executive director of UEDA. They “contribute to regional growth and serve as key partners in creating entrepreneurial ecosystems, building civic amenities and producing world-class talent in direct response to industry needs.”
KU Innovation and Collaboration is the bi-campus technology commercialization office of the University of Kansas. It manages KU’s intellectual property, licensing and start-up company activities, and leads the university’s economic development mission.