HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (October 26, 2018) – This week, it was announced that Huntsville’s own Erin Koshut has been elected to the Association of University Research Park (AURP) Board of Directors, and selected for the organization’s Executive Committee.
AURP is an international organization that strives to create communities of innovation by fostering commercialization, innovation, and economic growth through university, industry and government partnerships. The leadership in this nonprofit organization seeks to educate and bring these individuals together through insightful events and professional development opportunities, and has made this the mission for more than 30 years.
Koshut is the Executive Director of Cummings Research Park (CRP), the second largest research park in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. Through her role, Koshut plays an important role in helping market and develop CRP as a center of innovation and excellence.
“I am deeply honored to have been elected to these positions. These positions allow me to both represent the companies, our university and viewpoints from Cummings Research Park on the AURP board but also to support and grow the AURP organization,” said Koshut. “This is a great opportunity to work with my fellow board members to help determine the strategic future and increased value AURP brings to research parks and innovation districts across North America and around the world.”
CRP has long been involved in AURP. Just last year, the Park played host to AURP’s International Conference and was awarded the Developing Communities of Innovation award in honor of CRP’s 50-year history. In 1997, CRP was awarded Outstanding Research Park of the Year and now holds a place in AURP’s Academy of Outstanding Research Parks.
Cummings Research Park is now at more than 90 percent occupancy, its highest rate in years. In one of her roles, Koshut helps companies and developers maximize available space and acreage in the Park. Recent growth announcements and additions in 2018 include BAE Systems, Blue Origin, Radiance Technologies, LSINC, Aerojet Rocketdyne, HudsonAlpha and others.
Koshut has also worked diligently to offer networking events and place-making activities for CRP employees and area stakeholders to create a more vibrant research park. These activities include monthly Food Truck Fests, pop-up coffee, popsicle and happy hours and more engagement through social media. Just this summer, CRP welcomed a series of new events to experience at The Lot in the Park. Koshut is also heavily involved in the implementation of the 50-year comprehensive master plan for the Park.
Being elected to the AURP Board of Directors and Executive Committee is no easy task. The more than 170 member parks must elect each board member, while serving an executive position requires a nomination from the nominating committee. Koshut is the first CRP director to represent Huntsville on the AURP board since Rick Davis.