Association of Public Land-grant Universities to Give Public Impact Research Award to Partnership for Inclusive Innovation

Group shot of student interns

The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation’s 2023 Summer Internship cohort of 63 students worked on 35 projects across 15 communities in Georgia, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chris Ruggiero)

“Congratulations to this year’s COR Award winners,” Howard Gobstein, senior vice president for STEM Education and Research Policy and advisor to the president at APLU, said in a statement. “We’re delighted to recognize their leadership and outstanding work done in advancing Public Impact Research, diversity and inclusion in university research, and enhancing safety.”

APLU is a Washington, D.C.-based research, policy, and advocacy association of more than 250 research universities, land-grant institutions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The Public Impact Research Award that the Partnership received recognizes multi-project research efforts focused on community and public impact.

The Partnership, formed in 2020, is a regional public-private consortium tasked with leading strategic, statewide efforts to position Georgia as the leader for innovation, opportunity, and shared economic success.

APLU noted the Partnership’s work to foster collaborative projects across 34 institutes of higher learning, including historically Black colleges and universities. In 2023, the Partnership’s Student Engagement program brought 63 student interns from 25 universities across the country to work on 35 projects in 15 communities.

Other Partnership efforts have led to more than 45 multidisciplinary researchers focusing on community-driven needs such as increasing the use of data science at small and mid-sized farms across the entire state of Georgia to enhance production. Another project in Valdosta, Georgia led to improved emergency vehicle response times through the implementation of traffic signal pre-emption technology. Overall, the $2.36 million in funding the Partnership has awarded to support projects has garnered an additional $17.3 million in funding.

“We are honored to have been selected for this recognition,” said Debra Lam, the Partnership’s founding executive director. “Tackling the complex challenges our communities face requires novel approaches to how we innovate. By leveraging the unique strengths of the public and private sectors, our model at the Partnership proves we can have substantive impact that promotes geographic and community inclusion and supports economic mobility for overall shared economic success.”

The APLU award is the second such recognition that the organization has given to Georgia Tech. In 2014, the APLU named Georgia Tech one of four recipients of its Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities (IEP) Awards. Georgia Tech was selected because of its efforts through its Enterprise Innovation Institute, the oldest and largest university-based economic development organization of its kind in the country.

“Improving the human condition through research, and more importantly, applying those research innovations to solving real world challenges has been our core focus since our founding in in 1885,” said Chaouki T. Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for Research. “The Partnership is the embodiment of that mission and our continued commitment to economic development in Georgia and beyond.”

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Péralte C. Paul