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OHIO receives an extension to its APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation, a nod to its continued support of Southeast Ohio

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) has extended a highly competitive community and economic development designation to Ohio University.

The Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) program helps higher education institutions better know, measure, tell and enhance their economic and community development impact. The designation also recognizes institutions like OHIO that have demonstrated a substantive, sustainable and institution-wide commitment to regional economic engagement, opportunity growth and economic opportunity. 

Ohio University first received the IEP designation in 2015 but was recently granted a five-year extension. The APLU believed OHIO's application portrayed a university with a keen interest in continuing to participate in the program to further its positive impact on the community.

“Economic development is a major pillar of universities’ work,” said APLU President Mark Becker. “From talent development to pathbreaking research to entrepreneurship and beyond, institutions have a central role to play in economic development. We’re pleased to recognize Ohio University for its commitment to engaging its community around these issues to advance regional economic development.”

The designation not only serves as an accolade but allows OHIO to apply for additional awards through the APLU.

“The Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation is a testament to Ohio University’s commitment to economic development in the state and region,” said Ohio University President Dr. Lori Stewart Gonzalez. “We are grateful to the APLU for this honor, and we are grateful to our community partners who help advance economic development and innovation in our region.”


Community Health Programs mobile clinic
The Heritage College mobile clinic, which began operations in 1994, plays an important role in providing quality medical care services to residents of southeast Ohio and beyond.


How OHIO supports the community

OHIO supports the economic development of Southeast Ohio by providing students with opportunities to access a high-quality education not just in the classroom but also through hands-on service to the community. Research labs such as the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), the Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology (ICMT), and the Edison Biotechnology Institute (EBI), are just some of the many centers for research at OHIO where students gain firsthand experience and connections, and provide jobs to local researchers.

The School of Nursing is one of Ohio’s top providers of primary care physicians and serves the surrounding region through outreach programs like Mobile Health Clinics and the Diabetes Institute, where patient education and care delivery programs help improve treatment for those in Appalachia with diabetes.

The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is the largest medical school in the state of Ohio and the vast majority of graduating doctors stay in Ohio to practice medicine. Each year, two 40-foot mobile clinics from the Heritage College's Community Health Programs travel throughout 24 Ohio counties, providing clinics at churches, community centers, worksites, schools and more.

On May 14, 2024, Ohio University will host the Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference. The annual conference brings public officials, economic development experts, business and organizational leaders and others to discuss different issues related to economic growth in the Appalachian Ohio region. The event is part of the Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center project. The Voinovich School also offers:

A part of OHIO’s Research and Creative Activity Unit, the Innovation Center is an internationally acclaimed business incubator which provides resources and guidance to startup technology companies located in Athens and the surrounding region. The center serves as a professional setting for entrepreneurs to start evolving their business. Additionally, the center offers its clients services including accounting assistance, business expertise, connections to resources, and assistance with capital attraction. 

2021 IEP Connections Award

The APLU named Ohio University a 2021 IEP Economic Engagement Connections award winner, the top prize in its annual awards competition. The awards recognize innovative projects or programs in economic engagement.

January 31, 2024
Staff reports