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K-State Today

October 17, 2011

Institute for Commercialization integral to making K-State a top 50 public research university

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Discoveries and innovations that feed off Kansas State University research and brainpower don't just stay on campus.

With the help of the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, these discoveries and innovations benefit Manhattan and the region by increasing commercialization of new technologies. In turn, the institute is integral in the university's efforts to become recognized as a top 50 public research university by 2025.

"As we talked with our faculty, staff and other members of the K-State family about what it takes to become a top 50 institution, we got comments on the positive role that the Institute for Commercialization is already playing in that process," Kirk Schulz, the university president, said. "It is critical for the university to have a leader ensuring that our discoveries and strengths benefit not just Kansas State but the broader community."

According to Kent Glasscock, the institute's president, the Institute for Commercialization is helping push the university into the top 50 in several ways. This includes value-added research within the state, the flow of funds into the university and the state of Kansas through licensing agreements, and the start-up companies the institute spins off. These bring opportunities for jobs and further resources to the area, he said.

Since starting in 1994 the institute has created more than 170 jobs in the region with average salaries of $57,000 annually. Additionally, in the past 11 years the institute has generated nearly $165 million in new revenue in Manhattan and each month brings in about $1 million in revenue to the area. Licensing efforts have generated approximately $12 million in direct revenue back to Kansas State University during the past 10 years.

Until recently the institute was known as the National Institute for Strategic Acquisition and Commercialization. This name change doesn't alter the role that the institute plays in corporate relationships; instead it makes its role clearer to the general public, Glasscock said.

"Kansas State University is our home, and our name communicates that to the university community and around the country. We couldn't be more excited," he said.

Among the institute's successes is bringing companies to K-State and the region. The institute brought animal health company Abaxis into a strategic alliance with the university and its veterinary diagnostic lab. This year

Abaxis moved into the Kansas City area, home of K-State Olathe.

In 2008 the Coca-Cola Company gained its first corporate operating presence in Kansas when it acquired 51 percent of NutriJoy Inc. The institute created the company based on a donated technology it gained through its Technology Acquisition, Development and Commercialization program.

The Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization also has succeeded in marketing and licensing patented technologies discovered through K-State research. By licensing intellectual property from the university and major corporations, the institute has created start-up companies financed with more than $30 million in equity and grants during the past nine years.

Additionally, the institute helped bootstrap ScavengeTech in 2002. The Manhattan-based company designs technology that monitors the system health of the legacy engines on the natural gas pipelines across the nation. It was started by Kirby Chapman, former professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering and former director of Kansas State University's National Gas Machinery Laboratory.

"The total focus of the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization and all that we do will be designed to support the university and its vision 2025 strategy," Glasscock said.