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K-State Today

April 19, 2022

An update on the Biosecurity and Biodefense focus area of the Economic Prosperity Plan

Submitted by President Richard Linton and Vice President for Research David Rosowsky

In early December 2021, the university announced its Economic Prosperity Plan, a strategic initiative that aims to create 3,000 jobs and $3 billion in investment in the state of Kansas in the next 10 years. Yesterday, we joined Gov. Laura Kelly, federal, state and local leadership in announcing an important step toward this goal: Welcoming Scorpion Biological Services Inc. and its planned biodefense-focused biomanufacturing facility to the Manhattan area.

Attracting companies like Scorpion to our community not only delivers on our promise of contributing to solutions for Kansas’ economic needs, but it also creates incredible opportunity for our faculty and students. Ahead of facility completion, Scorpion plans to begin research in collaboration with faculty at the Biosecurity Research Institute. Additionally, through master research agreements, we anticipate broad scientific collaboration that will help us solve pressing biosecurity challenges and new technology developments for economically important animal and zoonotic infectious diseases.

Scorpion also intends to leverage its proximity to next-generation talent by recruiting K-State graduates into meaningful employment opportunities. Working in partnership with Manhattan Area Technical College, we will help grow a pipeline of talent from certificates to doctoral degrees that will meet Scorpion’s workforce needs.

Fostering prosperity is core to our land-grant mission, making economic development part of our DNA at K-State. Partnerships and intentional collaboration expand our opportunities to make a large and lasting impact. We are fortunate to be one of the only universities in the world with biosafety level-1 through biosafety level-4 facilities on or adjacent to campus. This breadth of capability and research capacity provides us with a rich opportunity to contribute to meaningful solutions for our community, our state and beyond.

The K-State Economic Prosperity Plan is a direct response to a request from the Kansas Board of Regents to showcase university contributions to the state’s economic prosperity. Biosecurity and Biodefense serve as one of four foundational focus areas of global leadership within the plan. The three additional focus areas include Food and Agriculture Systems Innovation; Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics; and K-State 105, an initiative where K-State is creating an “Every Town to Gown” approach toward enhancing its presence in all 105 counties in Kansas. You can read more about our goals and ongoing work on the Economic Prosperity website.

The future is exciting at K-State and in the Manhattan community. This is only the beginning of the growth and opportunity we are cultivating and creating. And it’s a shining example of what collaborative partnerships can achieve when we work together.

Go 'Cats,

Richard Linton, president
David Rosowsky, vice president for research