Students walking around UCR campus
April 15, 2024

UCR joins group of leaders in tech partnerships, innovation

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has 80 Innovation & Economic Prosperity member universities

Author: J.D. Warren
April 15, 2024

In recognition of UC Riverside’s commitment to economic engagement, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or APLU, has designated UCR as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity, or IEP, university. The national designation acknowledges public research universities that support economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.

UCR is now one of 80 IEP universities.


“We join a select group of universities in the nation, including our sister campuses of UC Davis, UC Los Angeles, and UC San Diego,” said Rodolfo Torres, UCR’s vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development, or RED. “UCR is already recognized by our regional stakeholders as an engine for innovation and economic prosperity in Inland Southern California, and it is great to be recognized by our peer universities in APLU too."

Torres said SoCal OASIS™ is key to the successful IEP application. SoCal OASIS™, which is an overarching initiative including a technology hub and numerous programmatic activities, is RED’s primary mechanism for building innovation and economic development in the Inland Southern California region.

Rosibel Ochoa, associate vice chancellor in the Office of Technology Partnerships, said the designation “has cemented UC Riverside's position as a leader in technology innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a culmination of more than eight years of hard work and dedication from the university and its partners.”

The designation comes after an independent panel reviewed UCR’s application, which included an internal review of economic engagement activities, as well as input by outside stakeholders. The application required a self-study to identify areas of strength and develop a growth and improvement plan.

Applications for the designation are evaluated by a panel of reviewers representing other universities and regional and national partners. Scoring was based on criteria emphasizing universities’ development of their economic engagement enterprise, strategic communications around these efforts, and advancement of economic engagement among peer institutions.

The designation is five years in duration, after which IEP universities can be recertified by summarizing five years of “reflection memos.” At 10 years, institutions complete the same extension application, along with presenting a new growth and improvement plan. The sequence repeats every five and 10 years.

The distinction complements two designations UCR has received in the past year that similarly raise the university’s academic profile, while positioning UCR for new funding opportunities, awards, and networking opportunities. In June 2023, UCR was invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities, or AAU, which includes the 71 top research universities in the nation. In January, UCR received the 2024 Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement.

The APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The organization has as members more than 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations. 

Media Contacts