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K-State Today

August 24, 2023

K-State partnership recognized for work in bioscience industry

Submitted by Jarrett Whitson


The Manhattan Regional Economic Development Partnership, which includes Kansas State University and K-State Innovation Partners, received the BioKansas Sunflower Award at the 2023 Innovation Festival in early August.
The award recognizes a partnership contributing to the growth or sustainability of the bioscience industry in Kansas.

Nominations were evaluated based on communicated impact, including:

  • Programs and projects developed and implemented that have been replicated.
  • Service and mentorship that goes beyond the requirements of the nominee's job.
  • Product development and commercialization that has advanced the industry.
  • Presentations and publications that have advanced the field's body of knowledge.

"The partners were recognized for their collaborative efforts to create extraordinary growth of the bioscience industry in Kansas," said BioKansas representatives in a press release about the award. "Their exceptional work was driven by true collaboration that enabled them to create modernized and customized training programs, further deepen research expertise, recruit businesses through the development of impactful incentives, grow an enriching community culture, and more." 

Partners recognized by this award include K-State, K-State Innovation Partners, Manhattan Area Technical College, the Greater Manhattan Economic Partnership and the city of Manhattan. This partnership is collaborating on building the biotechnology and related workforce in the region, as well as creating a cluster of industry-focused companies and resources to support their success. Through creating this hub of activity and opportunities, the partnership can facilitate economic development across the region and state.

"The work of this partnership is foundational to our National Science Foundation Engine Development award, Advancing Biosecurity, Biodefense, and Biomanufacturing Technologies, which seeks to leverage existing activity and create new technologies in the domains of biosecurity, biodefense and biomanufacturing in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri," said Beth Montelone, senior associate vice president for research at K-State.

Part of K-State's contribution to this work includes the development of a Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center. The center will feature modern biomanufacturing lab equipment and courses to provide students with hands-on training and skills in the practice and theory of biomanufacturing to support industry and workforce needs.

"We are truly honored to receive this award, which reflects the remarkable dedication and collaborative spirit between higher education and the regional community," said Rebecca Robinson, president and CEO of K-State Innovation Partners. "This recognition underscores our more than 15-year shared commitment to driving economic prosperity in the region."