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Top Award for Economic Impact

Students working on applied research projects contribute to economic development across the state.

NC State has made a name for itself as an innovative university that creates economic prosperity — and now it’s been officially recognized for it.

APLU, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, has designated NC State as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University. The designation recognizes universities that work with public- and private-sector partners to support economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.

“Public universities serve as economic engines for their local communities and states by conducting cutting-edge research to reach new breakthroughs, and by developing the talent to help existing businesses grow stronger and enabling new ones to develop and thrive,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “The 14 institutions receiving the 2014 Innovation & Economic Prosperity University designation serve as models. They demonstrate how public research universities extend beyond their campuses to engage their communities in economic development that creates jobs and improves lives.”

To receive the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University designation, universities must conduct a self-study evaluating institutional efforts to support economic development, identifying both areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Institutions then submit their study results and an improvement plan to APLU for assessment. NC State was selected for the designation based on the “significant strengths” demonstrated in its study results, according to APLU.

The award comes at a particularly auspicious time for NC State because Chancellor Randy Woodson is currently serving a one-year term as chair of APLU’s board of directors. Peers at APLU member universities and university systems elected Woodson to the post. Woodson previously served as chair of the APLU Council of Presidents.

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 219 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and related organizations. Founded in 1887, APLU is one of the nation’s oldest higher education associations, with member institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories.

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