UC named 2021 IEP Talent Award winner by APLU

Exemplary initiatives in education and workforce development put UC on top nationally for talent

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named the University of Cincinnati as its 2021 Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) Awardee. The IEP awards recognize innovative projects or programs in economic engagement.

We are honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award. We have always focused on creating pathways for talent — from inventing the cooperative education model 115 years ago to opening the 1819 Innovation Hub and powering the Cincinnati Innovation District today. It is extremely rewarding to be recognized for our vision and to be seen as a beacon for talent.

UC President Neville G. Pinto

UC has won the IEP Talent award, recognizing exemplary initiatives in education and workforce development.

“APLU congratulates this year’s IEP Award winners for their dedication to economic development through their commitment to cultivating talent, innovation and place-based development in their communities,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “The excellence in economic development each winner has displayed illustrates how public universities can rise to meet the needs of their communities and make significant intellectual and economic contributions to the promote wellbeing of our nation.”

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

“We know it’s all about talent,” said David J. Adams, chief innovation officer, University of Cincinnati, and lead architect of the Cincinnati Innovation District. “At the Cincinnati Innovation District, powered by UC, we have been able to create the place to attract that talent and the creative collisions to attract industry who needs that talent. We know talent has choices, so to be named as a leader in this space is accretive to our work.”

APLU’s IEP Universities designation program helps higher education institutions codify, elevate and advance their enterprise supporting economic and community development while providing national recognition to institutions committed to university economic development. To earn the designation, institutions complete a rigorous self-study and stakeholder engagement process. They also identify their economic development strengths and areas of growth and improvement. APLU today named North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center IEP University Designees. North Carolina A&T State is the first Historically Black College and University to receive the designation. Over 70 institutions have been named IEP Universities designees since the program was launched in 2012.

IEP designees conduct a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement activities that includes input from external stakeholders. As part of the self-study, each institution identifies areas for growth and improvement within its economic engagement enterprise and developes an improvement plan. This work demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in this kind of engagement vital to universities and their regional partners.

As defined by APLU’s Economic Engagement Framework – a series of tools and publications that helps institutions better know, measure and communicate their work in economic engagement – universities collaborate with their public and private sector partners in their states and regions to promote economic growth, competitiveness and opportunity through a variety of efforts across the aforementioned categories.

About University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Innovation District

Seeking to meet talent needs and drive economic growth for the region, the University of Cincinnati boldly accelerated the development and attraction of talent for industry with the opening of its 1819 Innovation Hub in 2017. Noting the swift success of 1819, Governor Mike DeWine unveiled the Cincinnati Innovation District (CID) in March 2020. Powered by the University of Cincinnati, the CID envelops myriad innovation assets and access to some of the world’s leading academic and research centers, organizations and talent pools. The district’s mission is to become a globally recognized talent hub and lead a transformational movement. The combination of industry engagement, unique experiential platforms and accessible research expertise — working at the pace of change — will become a model nationwide.

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement.  Annually, member campuses enroll 5 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research.