Strengthening Our Economy through Research and Innovation

February 08, 2019
by Jere W. Morehead, President

As Georgia’s flagship land-grant and sea-grant university, UGA is committed to addressing the economic needs of our state. The University contributes an estimated $6.3 billion to the state’s economy each year by educating Georgia’s citizens, working with community and industry partners, and growing research and innovation.

UGA’s positive impact can be felt across all industries, and especially in Georgia’s number one industry: agriculture. One of the many ways our faculty, staff, and students make a difference in this vital area is through the development of research-based products, from new varieties of crops that thrive in Georgia soil to vaccines that help keep livestock healthy. UGA is ranked first in the nation for bringing research-based products to market—with more than 50 products introduced in the last year alone—and many of these products support Georgia agriculture.

A new, multi-pronged innovation initiative, which I announced in the recent State of the University Address, will further promote economic development in our state. This initiative includes programs such as the Innovation Fellows, which will help faculty commercialize their ideas and inventions and build strong industry partnerships around their research. The University also is creating an innovation district at the interface of historic North Campus and downtown Athens. The district will comprise an integrated set of facilities offering a range of spaces and amenities to inspire collaboration, discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

As UGA continues to build its innovation ecosystem and expand its research enterprise, we are strengthening not only our University but also our home state.