Innovation and Economic Prosperity Designation
The Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Designation was created by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) to recognize universities that are leaders in spurring and promoting regional economic development.
The IEP application process is an extensive assessment of the university’s efforts to connect to its community, and to help it play a major role in fostering economic recovery and growth through innovation and entrepreneurship. The designation goes to APLU member universities that demonstrate excellence and leadership in planning, implementing and evaluating programs and initiatives that foster economic engagement.
Economic engagement is defined as the exchange of knowledge and resources between institutions of higher education and their public and private stakeholders. Those activities can include transferring research discoveries into marketable products and services, sharing technical expertise and equipment with its community, and providing educational opportunities and workforce development.
The designation application process is an extensive one that included administering surveys to both Lubbock regional business and community leaders, and to Texas Tech faculty and administrators to gage the impact and perceptions of the university’s economic development efforts. Current students also were surveyed on their interest in and involvement with entrepreneurship. Alumni were asked whether they believe Texas Tech prepared them for their careers.
While a number of universities will submit applications for the IEP designation, Texas Tech is competing only against itself. The designation, if awarded, will be based not only on the institution’s current economic engagement activities, but also on its plans for growth and improvement in this area.