SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Angelo State University announced on Oct. 10 that the university had received a grant from the National Science Foundation to help start the ASU Innovation Hub creation.

With the $400,000 grant, a three-year partnership project called “Raising Rural Economic Development and Innovation” will explore how higher-education innovation hubs can address socio-economic development in rural areas. ASU shares that this will be done by leveraging a multi-sate model and utilizing local resources.

This grant was awarded through the National Science Foundation’s inaugural Enabling Partnerships to Increase Innovation Capacity initiative.

According to a press release from ASU, the project at the University will be directed by Dr. David Bixler, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

“The mission of the ASU Innovation Hub is to be a beacon for our campus, our region and our state as we become a leader in innovative research and economic development,” Bixler said. “We will build on the existing strengths of our campus, such as undergraduate research, technology and natural resources. We want to be audacious, look at the big picture, make research an enjoyable enterprise and show what is possible.”

Once completed, the ASU Innovation Hub, also known as ASU-IH, will act as the primary focal point of contact to enhance coordination and communications in support of research and workforce-in-training programs. ASU-IH will also serve as a headquarters where industry partners can link with academic leaders and researchers for workforce recruiting and research collaboration.

“Creating additional research opportunities while increasing internal and external collaborations leads to more faculty research activities,” Bixler said. “That, in turn, opens doors to more external grants and sponsorship funding, which leads to more modern equipment and facilities. Ultimately, all these components produce an enhanced and more relevant educational experience for our students across the academic spectrum.”

Throughout the three years of this project, the university will collaborate with other partnering institutions to share ideas and information on fostering internal and external, build the program infrastructure in their hubs, incorporate faculty and staff expertise, and formulate research grant applications.

ASU will be partnering up with Longwood University in Virginia, Richard Bland College of William & Mary in Virginia and Independence Community College in Kansas. Partners will get the chance to visit other campus hubs to see how they are progressing.