WEST LAFAYETTE – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has named Purdue University a 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Place award winner.
Purdue received the IEP Place award for exemplary initiatives resulting in social, cultural or community development. The IEP awards recognize innovative projects or programs in economic engagement.
“This award is a testament to the presence of Purdue University throughout the state of Indiana and beyond,” said Steve Abel, Purdue University associate provost for engagement. “This presence allows Purdue, Indiana’s land-grant university, to educate future leaders and improve the quality of life for Indiana residents and our global society.”
The winners of the awards were announced this weekend at the 2019 APLU Annual Meeting in San Diego.
The winner of this year’s IEP Place award, Purdue launched its Center for Regional Development in 2005 to deepen its economic engagement across the state and region. The center leads a variety of initiatives to address the unique needs of each community it works in and spur development across the state. Partnering with Ball State University, the center’s Hometown Collaboration Initiative works to grow local capacity in leadership and economic placemaking.
Also contributing to a sense of “place” for the university and surrounding areas is the $120 million State Street Redevelopment Project completed last year through a partnership among Purdue and the city of West Lafayette. The project spurred over $1 billion of development, including the Discovery Park District, a long-term project to build a preeminent environment for educational, economic, cultural and community activities through a partnership between Purdue Research Foundation and Indianapolis-based Browning Investments LLC.
The district has already attracted Rolls-Royce, while Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Saab are actively creating spaces for more than 600 new high-tech workers.
“We are committed to continue with our work at Discovery Park District and other avenues contributing to a sense of “place” for the university and surrounding areas,” said Greg Deason, senior vice president of entrepreneurship and place making for Purdue Research Foundation. “Dynamic places make it possible for innovators and entrepreneurs to take their ideas to impact.”
Purdue also has invested in two Purdue Polytechnic High School locations in Indianapolis with a goal to fully prepare high school students who otherwise might not have the opportunity for high-tech and STEM-related careers.
“Economic engagement and development cuts to the heart of public universities’ mission to advance the public good,” said Peter McPherson, president of APLU. “We applaud the winners of this year’s APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Awards. They stand out as excellent examples of how public universities are addressing their communities’ needs and advancing regional economic development.”