Economic Development Administration University Center

Deploying physical and intellectual resources for economic development
In this Section

Executive Roundtable Interview

Discussion on complex issues faced in distressed rural areas.

Realizing affordable healthcare for small business.

Businesses finding solutions through the UW-Stout EDA University Center.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center program is funded by the US Department of Commerce, and is designed to facilitate universities’ engagement within their broader regions to strengthen the regions’ economic ecosystems. UW-Stout’s EDA University Center is the Discovery Center’s conduit to deploy the university's physical and intellectual resources to assist economic development entities throughout a broad region of Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota.

We deploy the university's extensive polytechnic applied research, technical assistance and technology transfer resources to assist companies with the commercialization of technologies and products, and to assist communities in leveraging technology to drive growth. 

With EDA’s support through 2021, UW-Stout’s EDA University Center (EDA-UC) program assists in advancing regional economic development strategies in the most economically distressed communities within the service region. True to UW-Stout’s and the Discovery Center’s polytechnic mission, the EDA-UC will provide technical assistance to organizations and businesses located in these communities throughout the region. UW-Stout has a long history with the EDA University Center program, with our first award dating back to the early 1990s. We share in EDA’s proud “history of promoting and facilitating economic development…as early as 1980, EDA-funded UCs were among the first to recognize and respond to the needs of small- and medium-sized manufacturers and processors for technology transfer and commercialization assistance.”

UW-Stout’s EDA-UC is integrated within the university’s Discovery Center, and is specifically charged with advancing both business expansion and regional workforce development through innovation. The Discovery Center digital fabrication laboratory (FabLab) is a primary resource in driving the EDA-UC’s efforts to realize key success metrics. The Discovery Center also facilitates partnerships with a range of economic development organizations throughout the service region, bolstering their efforts and assisting with other EDA investments.  

The Center is a unique resource for technology and business information. The Center sponsors a number of technology and business-related events. Through its ongoing seminars and training events, the EDA Center has educated hundreds of business leaders about advanced and emerging skills needed to effectively and efficiently grow and sustain a profitable business. Additionally, the Center provides professional consulting services upon request.  These professional consulting services often incorporate applied research through UW-Stout faculty-led graduate student projects, providing clients with additional layers of support for their growth objectives and contributing to the economic development of the region.

UW Stout’s EDA University Center operates within a collaborative network of specialized University Centers in EDA’s Chicago Region including, the University of Wisconsin ExtensionUniversity of Minnesota, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois, Purdue University, Ball State, Michigan State, University of Michigan-Flint, Ohio University, Bowling Green University, and Cleveland State.

This webpage was prepared by the University of Wisconsin-Stout under investment ED16CHI3030038 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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