Clemson among finalists for 2015 Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Awards

Clemson University has been named a finalist for the third annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Awards, sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Six finalists are competing for four different awards that recognize different components of economic engagement. The winners will be announced Nov. 17 at the APLU’s annual meeting.

The IEP University Awards recognize specific emphases in the following areas: talent (exemplary initiatives in education and workforce development); innovation (outstanding work in technology transfer, entrepreneurship and business development); and place (excellence in community, social and cultural development work). In addition, the “Connections” award will be given to the university that has succeeded in best combining all three elements. Clemson is a finalist in the talent category and is also in the running for the connections award.

The other finalists — drawn from a pool of institutions that the association designated last year as Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities — are the University of Maryland, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, Auburn University and Ohio University.

“Public research universities have a core responsibility to take their wide array of expertise and put it to work in their region by helping to grow businesses, strengthen the economy, and advance society,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “The six institutions that are finalists for the 2015 APLU Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards have all demonstrated a clear commitment to economic engagement and have followed through by delivering results. APLU applauds them and looks forward to sharing their good work with other institutions as a resource for all public research universities to expand their economic engagement activities and help grow their regional economies.”

Clemson has had great success in aligning university resources and talents with the private sector to drive economic opportunity for the university’s students and residents of South Carolina.

“Clemson is proud to be nationally recognized as a leader in talent development by APLU. It is a testament to the quality and value of a Clemson education,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements, who also is chairman of the board of directors for the APLU. “As part of our land-grant mission, we are committed to meeting the state’s and region’s workforce needs, developing talent among learners of all ages and preparing our students for success after graduation.”

Clemson’s experiential learning and research opportunities engage students with the public and private sectors and promote skill development in critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration. These programs provide a foundation for innovation and serve graduates in their careers as well as the communities where they work. Clemson’s innovative statewide workforce development programs engage talent at all levels and demonstrate Clemson’s deep commitment to advancing quality of life, innovation and economic opportunity in South Carolina.

Three case studies were highlighted in the university’s award application including: CU-ICAR as an example of cultivating talent for the automotive sector as well as elevating innovation; the Clemson University Center for Workforce Development and the Youth Learning Institute for commitments to enhancing workforce outcomes in the state and the development of talent among learners of all ages; and the Clemson University Center for Career and Professional Development, a national model for building student talent in higher education, which was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. this year by The Princeton Review.