U of A Office of University Research Parks
September 23, 2011
Jessa B. Turner ? Media & Public Relations Coordinator ? (520) 382-2485 ?firstname.lastname@example.org
UA Office of University Research Parks Receives National Recognition for Excellence in UEconomic Development
(Tucson, Arizona) The UA Office of University Research Parks received national recognition for Excellence in Economic Development from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
The Office of University Research Park received honorable mention in two categories. One for Innovation Day at the UA in the category of Special Events and another for Vail Academy and High School in the category of Sustainable & Green Development for communities with populations over 500,000.
The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, September 20 during the IEDC Annual Conference, September 18-21 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We recognize the UA Office of University Research Parks for providing successful strategies to promote new standards in economic development in this period of global recovery,” said Dennis Coleman, IEDC chair. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. They demonstrate that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.”
Innovation Day at the UA highlights the best of University of Arizona (UA) innovation – from student inventors, to faculty researchers, to emerging and established technology companies. Since its inauguration in 2004, the annual event has grown in size and stature to become one of Tucson’s signature community events. Attended by hundreds of University and community members each year, the event is a highly visible celebration of successful commercialization of UA technologies. It provides early-stage entrepreneurs with role models and incentives to continue their efforts, and it offers prospective investors with an introduction to projects with commercial potential. The event is organized and executed by the UA Office of University Research Parks (OURP) in collaboration with other UA departments. The event aligns perfectly with OURP’s mission to create communities of innovation that support and promote research and education technology innovation and commercialization and high technology business development.
Vail Academy and High School is a K-12 charter school, operated by Vail Unified School District and located on the campus of the University of Arizona (UA) Tech Park. VAHS is the first K-12 educational facility in the country to be located on the campus of a university research park. This unparalleled integration creates an environment where students – from the earliest grades – see science and technology as accessible and approachable. In 1997, Vail High School opened its doors at the UA Tech Park. It provided high school students with an award-winning, school-to-work curriculum that allowed them to “rub shoulders” with scientists and engineers daily – both formally, through internships and work experience, and informally in the cafeteria and common areas. In 2005, new zoning ordinances forced the school to relocate to another location in the UA Tech Park. The Vail School District and the UA Office of University Research Parks took a positive approach to this challenging turn of events – and used it as a catalyst to expand to a full K-12 program, housed in a state-of-the-art green facility.
The Excellence in Economic Awards Program annually recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. The program honors organizations and individuals in 28 categories for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the premier membership organization dedicated to helping economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. Serving more than 4,500 members, IEDC represents the largest network of economic development professionals in the world. IEDC provides a diverse range of services, including conferences, certification, professional development, publications, research, advisory services and legislative tracking.
The Office of University Research Parks (OURP) creates Communities of Innovation in support of the University of Arizona’s mission of education, research and outreach. OURP manages the UA Tech Park, UA Bio Park and the Arizona Center for Innovation. To learn more please visit www.ourparks.arizona.edu.