Prepared by: Daniel C. Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, Chief Executive Officer, K-State Olathe Innovation Campus, Inc.
Monday, Dec. 29, 2008
BRINGING NBAF TO KANSAS WOULD ENABLE COLLABORATION WITH HUGE ANIMAL HEALTH NETWORK ALREADY IN PLACE
OLATHE -- Working together to improve animal and human health is a key reason for bringing the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to Kansas State University.
Should the Department of Homeland Security confirm Kansas State University as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, the federal government will be accessing the resources available at K-State, and the concentrated efforts of animal health companies as well as cooperating universities with hundreds of experienced scientists and researchers.
The livestock research assets at K-State and within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor and the Heartland BioAgro Consortium are important components for the best possible research opportunities for NBAF.
Broad collaborative opportunities exist within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor. Spanning the area from Manhattan, Kan., to Columbia, Mo., the corridor includes St. Joseph, Mo., Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas
City. In this area, hundreds of companies with world class, experienced researchers in bioscience are ready to work with equally talented NBAF scientists.
Federal researchers could collaborate not only with K-State scientists in the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, but with researchers at human health facilities and animal health companies in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.
Collaborators could include any number of animal health and nutrition companies and regional veterinary colleges, along with the Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Kansas City Area Development Council, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Olathe Chamber of Commerce, and other Johnson County organizations. The Kansas Bioscience Authority, in particular, has had a vital role in the Heartland BioAgro Consortium and as K-State's partner in the Kansas Bioscience Park.
According to JAVMA News, a 2006 report by Brakke Consulting concluded that no other region in the country is investing specifically in trying to attract animal health companies. The 2006 report found that the Kansas City region is home to more than 120 companies specializing in animal health and nutrition or supplies and services for that sector.
These Kansas City area companies account for nearly 34 percent of total sales in the $16.8 billion global animal health market.
K-State and its partners have an equity stake in animal health. Investing in animal health pays huge dividends in this region of the Midwest.
Key players in the Kansas City region's business, educational, scientific and government communities have joined together to cultivate a climate of opportunity for companies competing in and supporting the animal health and nutrition industry.
Collaborative research exists now and will intensify with the selection of K-State as the site for NBAF.
K-State's Biosecurity Research Institute provides scientists a secure location in which to study pathogens that threaten animal and plant-based agricultural systems, and to develop intervention strategies to minimize impacts on the nation's food supply and economy.
The region's animal health initiative aims to foster innovation as well as investment. A new player in this effort is K-State's own Olathe Innovation Campus. The campus will focus on commercially viable applied research and technology discovery in animal health, food safety and security and other relevant areas.
Researchers and scientists are in place in the area to complement and cooperate with NBAF researchers. There is no better place for NBAF than Kansas.