Western first Canadian university to receive prestigious Innovation & Economic Prosperity recognition

Western University’s strong commitment to economic engagement was recognized today by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in Washington, DC. Western is one of 18 public institutions in the 2015 class of Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities – and the first and only Canadian university to be recognized.

The designation acknowledges universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.

“Western’s commitment to innovation and economic prosperity is embedded in our mission to benefit society through the excellence of our teaching, research and scholarship,” said Western’s President Amit Chakma. “The contributions that our faculty, staff, students and alumni make to the well-being of the local, regional and national economies are massive in scope, and this recognition from the APLU is a new point of pride for all members of our campus community.”

Each university received the designation after conducting a thorough self-review with outside stakeholder input and subsequently submitting an application that went through a rigorous independent review process.

As a result of this process, Western was able to clearly articulate its economic development and societal contribution at a local, regional and national level, an estimate that collectively exceeds $11.3 billion annually, including $3.6 billion annually in the City of London alone.

APLU noted that the designated universities, including Western, are leveraging their status as Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities to identify new areas of opportunity in aligning with economic development objectives. They are developing deeper engagement with others in their regional innovation ecosystems, and making changes within the institution to expand their impact.

“APLU’s recognition helps to validate that our efforts to strengthen the entrepreneurial culture at Western, and to pursue more research, development and commercialization opportunities are on the right track,” said Chakma.

In addition to Western, the other 17 institutions recognized are: Auburn University; Binghamton University; Clemson University; East Carolina University; Mississippi State University; New Jersey Institute of Technology; New Mexico State University; Ohio University; Southern Illinois University; University of Arizona; University of Kansas; University of Louisville; University of Maryland; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of New Mexico; University of South Florida; and Utah State University.

More information about the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities is available at www.aplu.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Ledgley, Senior Media Relations Officer, Western University, 519-661-2111 x85283, sledgley@uwo.ca

Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.