January 22, 2024

EDA and Civic Roundtable Collaborate on UC Hub

New Tool Will Facilitate Information Exchange Among University Centers

For nearly 45 years, the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) University Center program has empowered leading colleges and universities to become champions of regional economic ecosystems. These centers provide small businesses and local governments with research-informed technical assistance leading to job creation, business expansion, and the development of highly-skilled talent pools.

EDA’s 73 University Centers (UC) have positioned themselves as critical players supporting technology transfer and commercialization, innovation, and high-growth entrepreneurship—including University of Oregon’s Resource Assistance for Rural Environments program, and Washington State University’s Manufacturing Roundtables, among many other outstanding examples.

To better address the growing needs of this dynamic network, EDA’s Research and National Technical Assistance (RNTA) program is announcing an award of $250,461 to Civic Roundtable to create the UC Hub, an innovative project designed to maximize the impact of the UC program.

The UC Hub will provide a digital platform for connectivity and cooperation between University Centers and regional stakeholders, allowing these economic development leaders to share and access resources such as whitepapers and datasets; interact with each other through a facilitated discussion forum; and identify opportunities for collaboration. Built on the Civic Roundtable platform, the UC Hub will finally provide a centralized location for participant interaction.

“Our University Center program is vital to the transformation of economic development knowledge from theory to praxis and we anticipate the UC Hub will invigorate and accelerate this process,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “EDA is dedicated to boosting regional economics through place-based, locally-led strategies, and our nation’s University Centers play a crucial role in connecting data, resources, and expertise to making those strategies work best for everyone.”

“EDA’s University Center program has a documented, decades-long history of successes,” explained Austin Boral, Co-founder of Civic Roundtable. “However, promising practice knowledge is not being effectively shared across participant institutions, leading to lost opportunity. The UC Hub will help solve this issue.”

The UC Hub will debut in mid-2024. Receive updates on this, and other EDA programs, by subscribing to EDA’s Impact newsletter.