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APLU designates U Mississippi an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University


By David Schwartz
Published: August 19th, 2019

The University of Mississippi has been recognized for its leadership in fostering economic growth, prosperity and innovation by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The APLU named Ole Miss an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University, a designation that recognizes the university’s commitment to economic engagement and its work with public and private sector partners.

“The Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation validates the key role that UM is playing as a leader in innovation and economic engagement,” said William Nicholas, director of economic development. “We are committed to working alongside entrepreneurs, industry leaders and government officials as an engine of economic opportunity.”

The university became one of just 60 schools to achieve the APLU recognition after an application process that includes an extensive self-study. Nicholas, along with Allyson Best, director of the UM Office of Technology Commercialization, co-chaired a 10-person steering committee formed from the offices of Development, Diversity and Community Engagement, Information Technology, Marketing and Communications, Technology Commercialization and Insight Park, the university research park. The committee met regularly to provide overall guidance and evaluation of the university’s self-study in economic engagement activities.

“The university is committed to turning discoveries into jobs and companies,” Best said. “Part of our mission includes growing economic prosperity including providing opportunities for the people of Mississippi and beyond through excellence in learning, discovery, health care and engagement.”

Industry engagement is a big part of the school’s focus. “We are establishing partnerships and providing support to business and industry in the state and Mid-South region with an eye toward spurring growth,” said Josh Gladden, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “This designation will help Ole Miss grow and strengthen our activities and partnerships which foster economic prosperity in the state through both research and innovation as well as experiential education opportunities for our students”

Among highlights of its activity is the university’s Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Initiative at the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, which works to increase entrepreneurship and promote economic development in rural communities. Ole Miss is also home to a The Innovation Hub at Insight Park, a 62,000-square-foot building that serves as the gateway for Insight Park and offers custom space, shared equipment and flexible leasing agreements. It fosters industry engagement, collaborative research and student internships with partner companies.

Source: University of Mississippi News

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Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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