Jump to main content.

Project Descriptions: 2018 University Center Competition Grantees

Grantees from EDA’s Austin Regional Office:

University of Arkansas Little Rock will receive $112,850 to support the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI), which provides training, technical assistance, and support to further economic development initiatives in Arkansas and the broader the southwest region. The University Center at AEDI will leverage public and university resources to build partnerships and convene community economic development interests, public and private, at the local, state, regional, and multi-state levels; resulting in enhance economic development opportunities for Arkansas and the southwest federal region.

Arkansas State University will receive $112,850 to leverage public and university resources to educate and provide technical assistance to community and industry partners on economic development topics. ASU will create a “Small Town Institute” to provide technical assistance for regional small communities and towns; position itself as a regional center for emerging leaders and new economy jobs; and spur a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation resulting in enhanced economic development opportunities for the Northeast Arkansas Delta.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette will receive $112,850 to support the Louisiana Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center (LEED) in the expansion of regional innovation clusters, advance high-growth entrepreneurship, cultivating innovation in rural and underrepresented communities, and supporting regional commercialization efforts through technical assistance, market research, and consultation.

Southern University and A&M College will receive $112,850 to support their University Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development to promote job creation and workforce development, advance innovation, regional entrepreneurship ecosystem, and increase international trade through technical assistance, applied research and analysis, and entrepreneurial curricula for students and emerging entrepreneurs.

San Juan College will receive $112,850 to fund The Harvest program in support of regional commercialization efforts, cultivate innovation, and encourage business expansion in the region’s innovation cluster of agriculture and food products. This University Center will operate a food hub and maker market for local and regional producers, makers, and consumers.

STC.UNM will receive $112,850 as the New Mexico Rainforest University Center to support high-growth entrepreneurs and providing training and technical assistance to University of New Mexico campuses across the state. STC. UNM will develop new seminars and use existing programming to create a certificate program in Entrepreneurial Capabilities and will provide professional development opportunities through a blended model of training and support for emerging entrepreneurs.

Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma will receive $112,850 to increase innovation and entrepreneurship supported by the OU Innovation Hub through commercialization, program management, and prototyping support to Oklahoma small businesses. Expansion of their I-Hub programs will extend across Tulsa and Oklahoma City to provide commercialization, program management, and prototyping support.

The University of Texas at Tyler will receive $112,850 to advance their University Center through the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (EI2) and create unified framework to address the region’s economic ecosystem gaps and serve as the focal point of entrepreneurship education, research, and outreach across the University and business community by functioning as a “one stop shop” that provides community members integrated access to the various University resources and services which support the advancement of economic development activities.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will receive $112,850 to advance high-growth entrepreneurship and cultivate innovation by providing entrepreneurial assistance, business services, mentoring, and commercialization support to local businesses and entrepreneurs. The UTRGV University Center will leverage university and public resources and regional knowledge to serve as a centralized repository of entrepreneurial assistance initiatives and activities in the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi will receive $112,850 to expand the entrepreneurial capacity of the Coastal Bend region as well as its long-term economic recovery and resilience through technical assistance, applied research, and an incubation function taking into consideration area-wide economic recovery to build a resilient entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Grantees from EDA’s Denver Regional Office:

Iowa State University of Science & Technology will receive $138,000 to support the Iowa Workforce Innovation Network (iWIN) which will work with research universities, regional Council of Governments, economic developers, and education and business leaders to develop innovative, multi-faceted solutions to Iowa’s systemic workforce challenges. The iWIN program will include five key elements including applied research, a community leader survey, workforce gap analysis, a community workforce plan, and technical assistance.

University of Northern Iowa will receive $131,000 to support business retention and expansion through a targeted focus on intrapreneurship services. The University Center’s activities will help expand product development and commercialization within stagnated industry clusters, support local economic developers in cultivating business opportunities, and coordinate university and community college programs to support businesses in their intrapreneurship activities.

Kansas State University will receive $162,500 to transform the Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI), into K-State’s new Technology Development Institute (TDI), the next evolution in K-State’s strategic and deep engagement with the state’s innovation-based economy. The K-State Technology Development Institute will build collaborative university/government/industry partnerships to develop new products and technologies and cultivate vibrant regional innovation ecosystems.

University of Kansas will receive $140,000 to expand the successful RedTire program, which is designed to save and strengthen small businesses in distressed areas of the region, to other business types, including trade-oriented businesses. In addition, the University Center will launch the new Commercializing University Research through Entrepreneurship (CURE) initiative that will help commercialize KU research inventions in STEM by leveraging student entrepreneurs from the KU Center for Entrepreneurship.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) will receive $162,500 to support Innovation Center, that with its strong suite of programs and collaboration with other university and community organizations, will focus on building regional collaborations with university, government, community and business leaders. This collaboration will create an infrastructure for engagement between entrepreneurial businesses and mid- to large-sized corporations and result in economic wealth in distressed urban core neighborhoods. The goal of the University Center is to strengthen the fundamental building blocks of a prosperous and innovation-centric economy.

University of Montana will receive $146,000 to the University of Montana Center for Rural Economic Development to focus on advancing high-growth entrepreneurship by broadening the reach of the University’s Accelerate Montana program to distressed rural and tribal communities. The program will stimulate venture creation to develop new, innovative value propositions and business models with a focus on rural and tribal challenges and opportunities. Establishing networking groups and startup competitions will identify potential high-growth ventures supported through intensive training and one-on-one mentoring in design thinking, business model canvas, financial modeling, legal essentials, intellectual property and accessing global markets.

University of Nebraska at Omaha will receive $112,000 to support the development of more efficient and effective pathways for businesses and organizations by leveraging the university’s strengths to improve opportunities for collaborating and partnering with industry. The creation of tools and resources along with a coordinated branding campaign will improve intercampus connectivity to increase visibility and access to the University’s faculty expertise, business development programs and regionally-unique resources. An increase in opportunities for research collaboration, technology and product development, talent/workforce development and partnerships with Nebraska businesses and economic development stakeholders will strengthen the University’s support of the statewide vision for economic and business development.

University of North Dakota will receive $100,000 to the University Center for Autonomous Systems Innovation will support the regional commercialization of autonomous systems innovations, encouraging business expansion and development of a highly-skilled workforce to meet the needs of this emerging industry cluster. The program will identify innovations resulting from research activities at Grand Forks Air Force Base, business park and incubator and that can benefit from targeted commercialization, technical assistance, business counseling and workforce development assistance. A Rapid Response Team of University faculty and partnering organizations will provide a customized plan of action for each client that includes market, patent and trademark research to facilitate development of a sustainable regional ecosystem that supports this high-growth industry cluster.

South Dakota State University will receive $145,000 to support regional commercialization, develop a high-skilled regional workforce, advance high-growth entrepreneurship, cultivate innovation, and promote business expansion efforts in environmentally sustainable energy and precision agriculture technologies in South Dakota. This Center will prepare South Dakota to be a key player in precision agriculture. Center activities will link closely with South Dakota’s top priorities and opportunities to improve local and regional economies.

Dixie State University with Southern Utah University will receive $143,000 to support the collaboration between these two regional universities to bridge an urban-rural divide that exists in the state where urban Utah has experienced tremendous economic growth over the last decade, while rural areas of the state have either lagged behind or experienced economic recession. Through the University Center program, the region can experience sustainable growth through robust programing and consistent coordination that will be focused in the following areas: advancing high-growth entrepreneurship, cultivating innovation, encouraging business expansion in the region’s innovation clusters, developing a high-skilled regional workforce.

Resource Directory Disaster Recovery Annual Reports Stay Connected
(Subscribe to EDA's monthly e-newsletter)