The University of Missouri in Columbia has a long, distinguished history of helping Missouri, its citizens and industries economically, from discovering new ways to protect crops from disease to coaching small businesses owners to educating more than a fourth of the state’s undergraduates.

The Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) recently renewed Mizzou’s designation as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University in recognition of its continued “substantive, sustainable and institution-wide commitment” to regional economic growth and opportunity.

“More than 65 institutions have earned this distinguished recognition by working with on-campus and off-campus stakeholders to complete a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement enterprise,” said Mark McIntosh, MU vice chancellor of research and economic development. “MU was among the inaugural group of universities that received this designation in 2013.”

MU submitted an interim report to APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity as part of the renewal process. The following were among examples cited in the report that show MU’s power as an economic driver now and in the future:

  • The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) awarded a five-year, $12 million contract to MU in 2017 to design and deliver a data science training program for its employees. This state-of-the-art analytical training is a collaboration between MU’s Center for Geospatial Intelligence and the Institute for Data Science and Informatics, which offers an online master’s degree and graduate certificates. 
  • In 2018, the National Science Foundation awarded MU a $5.2 million grant to support the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society. The center works with researchers and engagement practitioners to build capacity, advance scholarship, grow partnerships and provide resources to help them engage with and demonstrate the impact of research in their communities and society.  
  • Another far-reaching effort is MU’s eMINTS National Center, which offers comprehensive professional development programs to help educators and school districts in the U.S. and Australia integrate technology into teaching. 
  • MU’s NextGen Precision Health Institute will bring biomolecular, computational and engineering disciplines, veterinary and human medicine and industry partners under one roof to develop individualized treatments and new technologies for cancer, cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and other health challenges. The institute will open in fall 2021. 
  • In an ongoing effort to bring the latest research and information to Missourians, MU Extension recently launched two tech-based initiatives. The IMPACT website is a publicly searchable inventory of MU programs, activities and educational opportunities, and All Things Missouri is a free, online platform designed to support decision-makers in accessing, analyzing and visualizing data that will help them better understand community needs, allocate resources, and make data-informed decisions. 

For more information about APLU, a research, policy and advisory organization dedicated to strengthening public universities, go to