aerial view of UW–Madison and downtown Madison

Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Designation

What is the IEP Designation?

APLU Innovation & Economic Prosperity - program logo

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is currently pursuing an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Designation from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). APLU is an organization dedicated to advancing the work of public universities by improving student success, advancing, and promoting research, along with building communities.

APLU and its Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) established the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities Program to help higher education institutions strengthen their strategy and practices in economic and community development while providing due recognition to institutions that are exemplary in their institution-wide commitment to regional economic engagement.

More than 65 institutions have earned this distinguished recognition including Purdue University, Penn State University, The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan.

How do we achieve the IEP Designation?

Institutional Self-Assessment

We will engage internal (faculty, staff, leadership, and students) and external (businesses, local and state government, communities, and others) stakeholders to identify UW-Madison’s strengths and areas of growth.

Develop an Application

Once we can better know, measure and describe UW-Madison’s economic and community development impact around talent, innovation and place we then can demonstrate institution-wide commitment and strategy for economic engagement, growth, and opportunity.

APLU IEP Timeline as of Dec. 10, 2020

Why is UW-Madison seeking the IEP Designation?


External and internal forces are driving us to capitalize on industry engagement with campus. COVID has only accelerated the needs of industry and academia to expand mutually beneficial collaboration. From the need for applied research to executive education, to projects and programs which benefit our students, faculty and the companies in our ecosystem, embracing industry collaboration is becoming a necessity.

Two thirds of the Big Ten has already made the decision to realize cross-campus Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation and implementation. Given the current and potential economic impact of UW–Madison both in our region and beyond, and for our competitive future, we are seeking this designation.


UW–Madison’s place in the heart of the Midwest represents an emerging opportunity to fulfill our research, teaching and community missions:

Within our existing economic impact programs, we are looking to create synergies and extend our strengths while reducing on and off campus barriers to the creation and support of stakeholder growth opportunities.

How can I contribute to this effort or learn more?

We want to hear from you! From university faculty, staff and students to business leaders and community members your contribution is vital and may be solicited. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team:

Bob Gratzl
Assistant Director of Contracting, UW-Madison Research and Sponsored Programs

Stephanie Furlong
APLU IEP Project Manager
Project Manager, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement