MAG, Universities Work to Enhance Economic Development Opportunities

MAG, Universities Work to Enhance Economic Development Opportunities

first_imgRepresentatives of Arizona’s three public universities and other major educational institutions will meet with members of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ (MAG) Economic Development Committee in Flagstaff next week to jointly sign an agreement intended to improve the process for securing competitive grant funding.The “Memorandum of Understanding: Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Agreement” is a means of showing local government support for the universities as they globally compete for grant funding and to expedite the process for demonstrating that support.“There have been occasions where we have come close to securing an award in Arizona, only to learn that another university outside of our state was selected because of what was perceived to be better support coming from its local governments,” said Angela Creedon, assistant vice president of public affairs for Arizona State University. “It is not because we didn’t have the same support, but because we were unable to get the appropriate partnerships in place in time to submit them as part of our proposal. This agreement lays out a plan for streamlining that process so that we can more nimbly respond with information about the type of support the community is lending to enhance the proposal and increase our chances of winning the grant,” she said.The agreement will be signed in a short ceremony during the Arizona Board of Regents meeting, Thursday, September 26, 2013. The signing is the last agenda item of the morning and is anticipated to take place around noon. The meeting will be held at the High Country Conference Center, 201 W. Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. Along with representatives from MAG, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona, other signers include the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Maricopa Community Colleges.Under the agreement, educational institutions that need support from MAG or its local government members will present an outline of the grant proposal early in the process to allow sufficient time for local governments and businesses to work directly with the educational organizations to provide the needed support. The educational institutions also agree to let supporting partners know when opportunities exist for publicly supporting the grants. In turn, MAG and its Economic Development Committee (EDC) will help spread the word about the grant proposal and provide a written letter of support when appropriate.“Speed is important in forming grant partnerships, and MAG includes all of the local governments in the region that represent more than 60 percent of the population of Arizona,” said EDC Chair Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale. “The EDC membership includes not only local governments, but also regional business organizations, including the East Valley Partnership, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, WESTMARC, and the Arizona Commerce Authority,” she said. “We believe this agreement will enhance Arizona’s competitiveness and improve Arizona’s economy.”last_img

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