Campus News

University Launches Economic Development Collaborative

photo of Guoqiang Yu and Chong Huang
Guoqiang Yu (left) and Chong Huang are UK inventors who utilize the UK Office of Technology Commercialization, a member of the UK Economic Development Collaborative, to advance their innovation. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 27, 2019) — Today, the University of Kentucky has officially launched the UK Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) to set the strategy moving forward on how UK will address economic development in the areas of talent, innovation, place and partnership. The EDC will also play an advisory role for the economic development engagement areas charged with executing on UK’s strategies.

Members of the EDC include UK leadership from academia and administration across the campus including a vice provost, four college deans, Student and Academic Life, Philanthropy, Purchasing, HealthCare, Athletics, Human Resources, Research, Information Technology Services and six economic engagement areas listed below.

"UK serves as a powerful economic engine for Kentucky — not only by educating the next generation of citizens, but through partnerships with businesses and industries that strengthen Kentucky’s economy and improve the lives of its residents," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "The Economic Development Collaborative brings all of our leadership across campus together to optimize the economic impact of UK and its many missions. We are committed to further connecting the creative research, development and entrepreneurial spirit on our campus into tangible solutions in our communities."

“Dr. Capilouto has challenged the EDC to think boldly and to assemble the resources necessary to execute UK’s economic development strategies,” said George Ward, executive director of the Coldstream Research Campus. “The diverse brain power we have assembled is committed to meet this challenge and help the university achieve its strategic goals long into the future.”

The new EDC website is the access point for both internal and external stakeholders and offers comprehensive solutions for UK’s students, innovators, entrepreneurs and industry partners. It will serve as the university's primary source of information on programs, projects, initiatives and resources related to economic development at UK.

The six economic development engagement areas of the university highlighted on the new website include the following:

For more information on the UK Economic Development Collaborative, visit or contact George Ward at

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.