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Research and Innovation

NC State Receives Five-Year IEP Designation Extension from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

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The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) recently announced that NC State received a five-year extension on its status as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Designee. 

The IEP designation recognizes institutional commitment to regional economic development. IEP universities must conduct a self-study of economic engagement activities, gaining input from external stakeholders and identifying growth opportunities within these activities. 

“This designation affirms our commitment to NC State’s land-grant mission. Our university is interwoven in the economic prosperity of our state, as well as the innovation that drives economic impact,” said Rich Bonanno, NC State’s vice provost for Outreach and Engagement. “It’s part of NC State’s very DNA to Think and Do. Economic growth and strength depend on the ability to innovate, and for 136 years NC State has been a leader in innovation, in educational methods, in industry partnerships and in research that improves lives.”

More than 80 institutions have been named IEP Universities designees since the program was launched in 2012. NC State received its initial designation in 2019.  That year, the university won the IEP Economic Engagement Connections award at the APLU’s annual meeting. 

The five-year extension comes in light of NC State’s reaffirmation of the university’s commitment to economic engagement, serving as an example for peer higher education institutions. The university underwent a rigorous evaluation process, which included participating in the IEP community of practice among peer universities. 

The community of practice works together to: advance the practice of university economic engagement, provide peer support, advance understanding of university economic engagement outside of the community of practice, and ensure that the IEP designation communicates an institution’s commitment to effective economic engagement.

Additionally, over the past several years, NC State faculty, staff and students have played a prominent role as part of cohesive teams, including the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Commerce, to attract capital investment and employment generation to North Carolina. North Carolina just won its third consecutive Prosperity Cup, an annual competition sponsored by Site Selection Magazine to rank states’ respective performance on a multivariate analysis, predicated upon new and expanding industry attraction and retention. 

“The APLU designation of NC State as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University defines us as a leader, partner and public servant with the ultimate goal of increasing prosperity in North Carolina,” said Bonanno. “We are proud to have the IEP designation and look forward to continuing under this banner.”

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 242 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 4.9 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $44.9 billion in university-based research.