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K-State Today

August 26, 2013

K-State Olathe, Advanced Manufacturing Institute named Economic Development Administration University Center

Submitted by Kristi Northcutt

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced that Kansas State University Olathe has been awarded a five-year designation as one of the U.S. Economic Development Administration's University Centers.

The agency is providing a total of $2.5 million in grants to 19 colleges and universities in 10 states to leverage university assets that will promote American innovation and strengthen regional economies. K-State will receive a $250,000 grant annually over the next five years to support the creation and infrastructure of the K-State Olathe Innovation Accelerator.

The accelerator is a joint partnership between the university's Advanced Manufacturing Institute, the Institute for Commercialization, K-State Olathe and the office of corporate engagement. The Advanced Manufacturing Institute has served as a University Center for the last nine years on the Manhattan campus, providing innovation-based economic development services throughout Kansas.

The accelerator will focus on advancing the technology development and commercialization of innovations that will increase the global competitiveness of the companies concentrated throughout the animal health corridor and the region's food production industry cluster. It will support rapid development, scale-up and commercialization of scientific discoveries and market innovations by bringing scientists, engineers, business experts, industry and stakeholders together.

"Building on the foundation of deep knowledge, broad technology and workforce development assets of Kansas State University's colleges of Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, and Human Ecology, the K-State Olathe Innovation Accelerator will leverage the more than 25 years of experience that the Advanced Manufacturing Institute has in providing hands-on, early-stage technology development and innovation intermediary services," said Jeff Tucker, executive director of the institute.

The accelerator will deepen the present and future commercial impact of other recent state and federal animal health and food safety investments at K-State, such as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, the Biosecurity Research Institute and the Food Science Institute. It also will help close the gap between the university's new Olathe campus, the region's animal health and food processing companies and the region's broader economic ecosystem.

Accredited institutions of higher education, including community colleges, or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. The Economic Development Administration awarded Kansas State University and Iowa State University with the largest grant awards in the region.

The mission of Economic Development Administration is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.