University's TechAccel and KBED event series finalists for national award
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016
MANHATTAN — Two innovative partnerships that are helping stimulate economic development in the Flint Hills region are receiving national recognition for their efforts. The Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization was involved in developing both partnerships.
The partnerships are finalists for the University Economic Development Association's Award of Excellence for Innovation. Technology Acceleration Partners, or TechAccel, is a pioneering startup company in Shawnee, and the Knowledge Based Economic Development, or KBED, event series brings Kansas State University faculty and staff together for interdisciplinary collaboration and economic development opportunities.
TechAccel and the KBED event series make up two of the four finalists for the award. They are competing for the national award against programs from Ohio University and the University of Wisconsin. The winner will be announced at the University Economic Development Association's national conference Oct. 16-19 in Roanoke, Virginia.
In August 2014, Kansas State University co-founded TechAccel to transfer university research in the animal health, agriculture and food ingredient sectors into products that U.S. and international companies can take to market.
The KBED event series was created in 2010 when the university launched an idea to host a series of events in which faculty and staff could meet around common themes and ultimately form interdisciplinary teams to pursue opportunities to advance the university.
Rebecca Robinson, director of economic development at the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, says there have been 24 such meetings involving more than 900 faculty members so far.
"We've been able to build teams from across campus that likely would have never crossed paths before," she said. "From those new collaborations, we've seen increases in large research proposals and new partnerships established with industry."
The meeting series was an outcome of the Knowledge Based Economic Development program, which was established in 2008 to align the city of Manhattan's strategy for economic development in a way that capitalizes on the university's research strengths and the area's growth opportunities.
KBED includes key partners from the city of Manhattan, the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Kansas State University, the Kansas State University Foundation, the Kansas State University Research Foundation, the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization and the North Central Kansas Community Network.
University officials representing both programs will be at the Roanoke meeting to state their case for the national award. Participants of the meeting will choose the winner based on each group's conference presentation.
The University Economic Development Association will recognize Award of Excellence winners in four other categories, as well. The association is widely recognized as a leading organization representing higher education, private sector and community development groups.
For more information about association and the awards program, visit universityeda.org.