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K-State Today

December 5, 2022

Economic Prosperity Plan: One-year update

Submitted by David Rosowsky

This week marks one year since the launch of K-State's bold Economic Prosperity Plan, or EPP, at a ceremony that included remarks from our newly named president, Richard Linton, the chair of the Kansas Board of Regents and others.

Our Economic Prosperity Plan is K-State's commitment to leveraging our research strengths, unique facilities and capabilities, and faculty expertise to drive statewide economic development and advance the global competitiveness of Kansas and Kansas businesses in select industry sectors. Our ambitious plan — built upon our land-grant mission, heritage and commitment — has bold goals. We will create 3,000 new jobs and bring $3 billion dollars of new investment into Kansas in 10 years.

At this one-year anniversary, it is appropriate to provide a brief update on our progress and share information about our plans for the coming year.

The EPP focus areas are: food and agriculture systems innovation, digital agriculture and advanced analytics, and biosecurity and biodefense. An additional focus area, "K-State 105: Every Town to Gown," is our commitment to engaging in new and meaningful ways with all 105 counties in Kansas to assist in economic development planning, thinking, and initiatives, connecting them to K-State's expertise/resources and leveraging those of partnering organizations. You can learn more about the plan and its components, partnerships, initiatives and progress on the Economic Prosperity Plan website.

The 10-year benchmarks included in the plan set a goal to create 1,100 direct jobs and $550 million in direct investment into Kansas by the end of 2022 — year three after the established baseline year (2019). As of this month, we have created 1,107 direct jobs and $650 million in direct investment. An additional 616 direct jobs and $942 million in direct investment have been announced.

A highlight of 2022 was the announcement of Scorpion Biological Services selecting Manhattan for its new manufacturing facility. Once construction of the 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space has been completed, the new facility is expected to employ more than 500 people. But there have been more successes to celebrate, including HydroGraph, a K-State technology-based startup; Canopy, another K-State technology spinout; and a $2 million Economic Development Administration grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to K-State's Technology Development Institute to expand our region's digital manufacturing capabilities.

Efforts to focus, leverage and promote K-State's research in the Economic Prosperity Plan focus areas also have been paying dividends, with tens of millions of dollars of new competitively awarded funding for research in these areas received in recent months. K-State also just learned that its $20 million Artificial Intelligence Institute proposal on the topic of AI in climate adaptive agriculture to the National Science Foundation has advanced to the finalist round for consideration for funding.

As part of our commitment to the Board of Regents to invest our own resources in helping to drive the Economic Prosperity Plan, we launched K-State's Game-Changing Research Initiation Program earlier this fall, committing $3 million over three years to invest in the most promising transdisciplinary research initiatives. At least one of the funded projects will have direct connection to the goals of the Economic Prosperity Plan. Other projects may also have economic development components to them.

In January, at the State House in Topeka, we will announce a major statewide partnership, the first of what we expect will be many, that will support and enhance our K-State 105 efforts.

And working closely with our partners, K-State Innovation Partners, the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Kansas Department of Commerce, we are continuing our efforts to recruit, create and expand companies in our community, region and state. Our 2023 pipeline already is quite full, and interest is strong in both the biodefense/biosecurity and agricultural industry sectors. We look forward to more announcements in the coming year.

With my thanks for all you do for Kansas State University and for Kansas,

David Rosowsky
Vice President for Research
Kansas State University