AMES, Iowa — The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) announced the winners for its sixth annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Awards on November 12 at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. Finalists competed for four different awards that recognize different components of university economic engagement: Talent, Innovation, Place and, the top prize in the competition, the Economic Engagement Connections Award. Iowa State University won the “Talent” award, which “honors an institution with exemplary initiatives in education and workforce development.”

“I was honored to accept the Talent Award on behalf of Iowa State University,” Iowa State’s Vice President for Economic Development and Business Engagement Michael Crum said. “At Iowa State, our primary mission is providing a world class education that provides students with the technical, analytical, problem-solving, communications, and social responsibility skills required in today’s workplace.”

Crum said Iowa State’s programs are far-reaching, both in terms of contributing to talent development in the state by supporting learning and skill development both on and off campus, and in the long-term and immediate economic development impacts that can be seen when Iowa State students’ talent is leveraged by businesses, startup companies and communities.

“At Iowa State, the talent development pipeline starts early, even before students reach the university and can continue throughout an individuals’ lifetime through our programs,” Crum said.

Kansas State University won the “innovation” award and the University of Maryland won both the “place” and top-prize in the competition, the “economic engagement connections” award, becoming the first university to become win IEP University Awards winner in multiple categories or in multiple years.

There were five finalists for the 2017 IEP Awards. In addition to the four winners, finalists included the Georgia Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University.


Julie Lelonek, Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations Communications, 515-294-1562,

Iowa State University
Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations
1805 Collaboration Place
Ames, IA  50010