Erin Koshut, Executive Director of Cummings Research Park (CRP), the second largest research park in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world, has been named president of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) Board of Directors.
AURP is a nonprofit organization representing more than 250 research parks and innovation districts globally as well as corporate members supporting these initiatives such as planning, building, and operations of these research communities. Members include NC State’s Centennial Campus, Purdue Research Park, Research Park at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Research Triangle Park, Aggie Square at UC Davis, University of Arizona Science & Technology Parks, Sandia Science & Technology Park, University of Maryland Discovery District and Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, among many others.
Cummings Research Park has been a member of AURP since 1987, with Erin serving on the board since 2019, previously as secretary and vice president before her appointment as president this year. Her two-year term as president officially started on January 1, 2023 and runs until December 31, 2024. Erin will be responsible for helping set strategy and direction for the Association, focused around membership retention and engagement, financial sustainability, plus diverse, equitable and inclusive programming.
“Erin is a visionary leader in our community with a passion for Cummings Research Park,” said Lucia Cape, Senior VP of Economic Development for the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. “She has created a dynamic environment in the Park that attracts talent while propelling Huntsville to the world stage through her work with AURP. We are proud of her role with the Association this year and know she will add value and energy to the organization.”
Vickie Palmer, AURP CEO shared: “Research parks and innovation districts are central to fostering groundbreaking discoveries built on unique public-private partnerships. Cummings Research Park has been an active and contributing member for many years, and recipient of AURP’s 1997 Outstanding Research Park Awards of Excellence in Innovation. In 2017, under Erin’s leadership, CRP hosted the very successful AURP International Conference bringing together global community leaders within the Huntsville region. Most recently Erin has chaired the Creating Communities of Innovation 101 program including the strategy and implementation of a digital on-demand series for those just starting the process of creating their own unique community of innovation. I am honored to serve alongside Erin in her new Association role and am confident Erin will continue to drive high-impact collaboration for our network.”
“I’m honored to represent Huntsville, Alabama and Cummings Research Park while serving on the AURP Board of Directors,” said Koshut. “All communities of innovation are important drivers of innovation, not just for their local communities but globally. AURP brings together diverse teams to identify best practices, bridge ideas and work toward collaborations that will solve big challenges. I look forward to working alongside my peers to help advance this mission.”