When the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense held hearings at Kansas State, January 26, 2017, panel member Tom Daschle — former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and a target of one of the anthrax letters in 2001 — called the concentration of bio/agrodefense assets and capabilities here "the Silicon Valley for biodefense." This evolving innovation ecosystem around NBAF offers more than 50 acres for new building space, training facilities, laboratories and satellite offices.
With the $1.25 billion investment in NBAF, Manhattan, Kansas has become the focal point for agriculture security — a.k.a. bio/agrodefense — in America. It's where government/university/industry research and development partnerships will provide solutions to existing and emerging biological threats that imperil U.S. agriculture — crops, livestock — food and people.
The Silicon Valley for Biodefense includes the following important partner resources:
- Biosecurity Research Institute
- Kansas Department of Agriculture
- Grain Science and Industry Complex
- USDA's Center for Grain and Animal Health Research
- Partnership Park
- Plant Sciences: Agronomy and Plant Pathology
- Veterinary Medicine Complex
Kansas State University Office Park
A new 60,000-square-foot building for the KSU Foundation headquarters which was completed in October 2015. Four corporate tenants lease space in that building: Garmin; G.E. Johnson Construction; U.S. Engineering; and the Veterinary and Biomedical Research Center (VBRC).
A new VBRC laboratory facility opened 6 miles east of the office park in 2013; NBAF was a prime motivator for building the lab near Manhattan.
As can be seen in the photo above, construction of a second 60,000-square-foot building is underway with completion expected in August 2018. Corporate office space is still available. Two more buildings can be accommodated on the site providing additional commercial space for corporate offices and laboratories.
A site plan for the office park has been developed in conjunction with the adjacent Grain Science and Industry Complex.
Kansas State University Research Park
The Kansas State University Research Park includes three buildings: the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Manhattan/Kansas State University Innovation Center, and the College of Human Ecology's Mary and Carl Ice Hall. Future plans include adding up to 17 new buildings around NBAF that businesses and university programs can use for office space, training facilities and research laboratories.
The Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC) in the Innovation Center facilitates R&D collaborations with public and private-sector entities regionally, nationally and globally. KSU-IC partnered with a number of KSU units, the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Manhattan to create the Knowledge Based Economic Development (KBED), LLC, in 2008 to facilitate economic development activities focused on KSU strengths. The general operating parameters of KBED are delineated in the graphic below and additional information can be found here.
KSU-IC can assist in obtaining funding to advance transformative innovations by engaging TechAccel, LLC, a forward-leaning investment company that KSU and KSU-IC helped establish. TechAccel focuses on co-development and de-risking of animal, plant and food ingredient technologies.
Orion Integrated Biosciences headquartered in Larchmont, New York opened a new office in the Manhattan/Kansas State University Innovation Center in 2016. Proximity to NBAF and Kansas State's expertise related to the NBAF mission were the primary drivers for opening an office in Manhattan.
A site plan for the Kansas State University Research Park has been developed and includes three phases.
Grain Science and Industry Complex
The Grain Science and Industry Complex sits on 16 acres north of Kimball Avenue in Manhattan next to the KSU Office Park. The complex, less than half a mile from the NBAF site, includes five buildings:
- IGP Institute Conference Center
- Bioprocessing and Industrial Value-Added Program, or BIVAP, building
- Hal Ross Flour Mill
- O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center
- Grain science teaching and research building
Future plans include adding three new buildings to the complex to provide additional office space as well as AIB International's research and training space.
North Campus Corridor
Kansas State University and the city of Manhattan are working together to integrate the current and future development of facilities and infrastructure in the north section of the Kansas State Manhattan campus. The corridor will serve as a hotspot of research, education and professional training. It networks the research facilities with the university's academic intellectual property and athletic facilities, as well as with future startup and mature companies renting office and lab space in the corridor.