1. K-State home
  2. »Research
  3. »Leadership
  4. »Innovation Partners


Innovation Partners

K-State Innovation Partners* is committed to collaborating with university, industry and communities to deliver a streamlined mission of corporate engagement, technology commercialization and economic development.

Driven by innovation, this nationally unique organizational structure serves K-State, community partners and industry in one comprehensive unit. This allows for efficient intellectual property protection, economic opportunities and a consistent experience for partners.

As a service unit and partner, we are dedicated to collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to identify common goals and shared initiatives for the benefit of K-State, communities and the state of Kansas.


Our core functions include: 

Corporate Engagement

These efforts are focused on leveraging K-State's strengths:

  • Innovation
  • Talent
  • Professional development capabilities

Technology Commercialization 

  • Protect and manage K-State's university-developed intellectual property portfolio

  • Deploy technology through licensing or start-up company formation

Economic Development

In partnership with university and community entities, we focus on:

  • Company attraction and retention

  • Improvement of the regional ecosystem to support economic growth


*The Kansas State University Research Foundation is doing business as K-State Innovation Partners. 


Board of Directors

Peter Dorhout, chair

K-State, vice president for research

Cynthia Enright

Partner, iValuation

Ethan Erickson

K-State, chief financial officer and director of budget planning

Ron Fehr

Manhattan, KS, city manager

J. Ernest Minton

K-State, dean of The College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension

Susan Peterson

K-State, chief government relations officer

Jason Smith

Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, president/CEO