In January of 2017, the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense — now the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense (BCB) — held hearings at Kansas State University. 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, and laboratories.
It's where government/university/industry research and development partnerships will provide solutions to existing and emerging biological threats that jeopardize 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
K-State Office Park
The K-State Office Park opened the doors on its first building in October of 2015. It houses the KSU Foundation headquarters, as well as hosting multiple legacy tenants, such as Garmin, U.S. Engineering, CEEZAD, and the Veterinary and Biomedical Research Center (VBRC). A new VBRC laboratory facility opened 6 miles east of the office park in 2013.
A second 60,000-square-foot building, 1880 Kimball Avenue, was completed in August 2018, and it houses partner tenants such as USDA, Scott Rice Office Works, Topcon Agriculture, and WTC Communications. With three future phases still in the works, K-State Office Park will add 310,000 square feet of flexible research and office space to the K-State community once completed.
A site plan for the office park has been developed in conjunction with the adjacent Grain Science and Industry Complex.
K-State Research Park
The K-State Research Park includes four buildings: the Manhattan/Kansas State University Innovation Center, the College of Human Ecology's Mary and Carl Ice Hall, the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) administrative offices, and a new KDA laboratory. Future plans include adding up to 16 new buildings around NBAF that businesses and university programs can use for office space, training facilities and research laboratories.
The Kansas State University Research Foundation (KSURF) in the Innovation Center facilitates R&D collaborations with public and private-sector entities regionally, nationally and globally. KSURF 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.
KSURF can assist in obtaining funding to advance transformative innovations by engaging Kansas City-based TechAccel, LLC, a forward-leaning investment company that KSU and KSURF 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
- Biomaterials Laboratory
Future plans include adding three new buildings to the complex to provide additional office space.
Edge Collaboration District (formerly 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 district serves 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.
More than a dozen industry partners and six academic colleges are represented in the Edge Collaboration District, and more are expected. These partnerships and $2 billion of current and planned infrastructure investment in the district will further inspire industry collaboration along the northern edge of campus, which includes the K-State Research Park, K-State Office Park, National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Biosecurity Research Institute, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Agriculture's Grain Science and Industry Complex and more.