AURP to Work with SSTI to Accelerate Tech-Based Economic Development

AURP and SSTI to collaborate on new U.S. EDA program to create content and programming on how communities can develop research parks and innovation districts

Tucson, AZ, and College Park, MD, October 18, 2022 – AURP, the leading nonprofit organization representing research parks and innovation districts, today announced the launch of a collaboration with the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) to join in implementing components of a new U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant that aims to accelerate technology-based economic development (TBED) across the country.

Under EDA’s recently announced award to form a TBED Community of Practice, AURP will collaborate with SSTI over a four-year period in developing practical education and training content – including online toolkits, interactive webinars and white papers – on planning, building or expanding research parks, innovation districts or regional collaborations.

“We’re delighted to work with our colleagues at SSTI to support communities in learning more about the power of research parks, innovation districts and tech hubs to drive innovation, economic growth and job creation,” said Vickie Palmer, CEO of AURP. “With this new EDA TBED Community of Practice program and with EDA’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, AURP and its partners have the opportunity to empower regional communities to develop game-changing societal and economic growth opportunities in every part of the country.”

EDA’s overall Communities of Practice program aims to strengthen U.S. economic development infrastructure by capturing, organizing and scaling best practices at a national level. Community of Practice grantees (which include regional and local economic development organizations) benefit from a mix of peer-to-peer learning, issue-specific trainings and targeted coaching on economic development strategies.

“We are excited EDA is investing in the development of a TBED Community of Practice,” said Dan Berglund, President & CEO of SSTI. “This initiative will work to improve the impacts and capacities of EDA grantees, and we are pleased to be working with AURP to ensure that regions and organizations supported by EDA that incorporate research parks into their TBED strategies have access to AURP’s knowledge, experience and network to strengthen their efforts.” 

In building the TBED Community of Practice, SSTI will work broadly across a range of EDA programs to strengthen the agency’s work within TBED and the field as a whole, including: EDA’s Build to Scale program; STEM Talent program; one-shot SPRINT Challenge; Build Back Better Regional Challenge; plus related Economic Adjustment Assistance projects.

About SSTI:
SSTI strengthens initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. A national nonprofit organization, SSTI offers information and services that are needed to succeed in today's innovation economy. We strive to maximize the capacity of our members to deliver successful outcomes within the context of the complex innovation communities in which they participate. Learn more:

About AURP:
AURP, a non-profit international organization with offices in the Washington, D.C. area at the University of Maryland Discovery District and in Tucson, Arizona, at the University of Arizona Tech Park, focuses on creating communities of innovation and education for research parks, both operating and planned, plus innovation districts, incubators, accelerators and the businesses that support the research park industry. AURP and its global membership promote research, institute-industry relations and innovation districts to foster innovation and to facilitate the transfer of technology from such institutions to the private sector. Learn more:

Media Contact:
Ken Berlack
[email protected]