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Center for Engagement and Community Development

News Features

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute Recognized Nationally for Efforts


The Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) is a part of the Kansas State University College of Engineering. The organization provides engineering and business services. One of the services AMI offers is economic development. These services help companies identify business growth opportunities including new business ventures, products and services to increase competitiveness in the marketplace. In addition to working with businesses, AMI also supports entrepreneurs, university research, and economic development agencies.

AMI founded the Kansas Opportunity Innovation Network (KOIN), which started out as a pilot program in 2007 and later expanded in 2010. KOIN is a collaborative initiative that works to aid interested communities and organizations in awareness of ideas, new markets, expertise, capital, and collaborations that might not exist within the geography served by those parties. KOIN primarily reaches regions that have been losing jobs and population.

"Some areas do not have access to all the resources that they need to build a sustainable competitive advantage," said Brad Kramer, director of AMI. "Our work helps to connect technology-based businesses to these innovation resources and to new opportunities."

Recently, The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) recognized AMI's program, KOIN with a 2011 Innovation Award. KOIN won the award for assisting communities and organizations in building a helpful network and identifying opportunities for growth.

"The Innovation Award elevates KOIN's credibility by pointing out the value in what KOIN has to offer to others at a national level," said John Cyr, executive director of Kansas Association of Regional Development Organizations.

KOIN was showcased for its achievement on Oct. 8-11 during NADO's 2011 annual training conference in Miami, Fla. The award helps validate the work KOIN is doing and what it is trying to accomplish.

"Like most things, KOIN will succeed if people first grasp its potential and then are willing to apply its concepts in their own operations," Cyr said.