UAB named 2023 APLU Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards finalist

By Tehreem Khan

rep aplu in8bio 550pxA lab space at UAB spinoff company IN8bio Inc.

STEVE WOOD | University Relations

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has named UAB one of five finalists for its 11th annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards, which recognize a university’s commitment to continuous learning and improvement in its economic engagement enterprise.

“Congratulations to our 2023 IEP Awards finalists on their outstanding efforts to spurring innovation, prepare the next-generation workforce and foster community development,” said APLU President Mark Becker. “We’re excited to spotlight the exemplary work of our IEP Award finalists in driving innovation and prosperity across their regions.”

UAB has cultivated an innovation ecosystem throughout Birmingham by supporting the creation of startups, with a focus on biotechnology to lead innovation in life sciences. The university launched the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2014 to oversee the commercialization of research, foster the creation of startups and spur economic development.

In the past decade, the HIIE has launched more than 30 startups and currently has more than 15 at varying stages in the university startup formation process. Using revenue generated from HIIE, the university launched the Blazer Bridge Fund to support proof-of-concept technologies with commercial potential. The university is also partnering with a local nonprofit to advance workforce development in the biotechnology sector.

As an APLU finalist, UAB is eligible to compete with four other institutions for awards including the IEP Talent Award, the IEP Place Award and the IEP Innovation Award, which recognize exemplary and innovative case studies of economic engagement impact. The university is also qualified for the IEP Economic Engagement Connections Award, which is the top prize in the awards competition, recognizing overall excellence and leveraging across all three award categories.

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its membership exceeds 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations.