KBED partnership wins national award for economic development


Credit: Kansas State University

MANHATTAN, KANSAS — For the second year in a row, a Kansas State University program is being nationally recognized for enhancing the region's economy.

The university's Knowledge Based Economic Development, or KBED, partnership with the Manhattan community is receiving the Enhancing Prosperity Through Competitive Industries award from the State Science and Technology Institute.

The national award, part of the institute's 2016 Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development program, recognizes an entity that enhances economic prosperity by improving the competitiveness of a region's industries.

It is the second time for a Kansas State University-sponsored program to receive an economic development award from the institute. The university's co-founded research and development company Technology Acceleration Partners, or TechAccel LLC, received the 2015 award for America's Most Promising Technology Based Economic Development Initiative.

Rebecca Robinson, director of economic development for the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, accepted the KBED award on Nov. 2 at the State Science and Technology Institute annual conference in Columbus, Ohio.

"For the university to have programs recognized two years in a row is a spectacular achievement," Robinson said. "The university's contribution to the area's economic development growth includes providing access to research, students and training. We also focus on the university's commitment to identifying faculty and staff whose expertise makes them good partners for prospective businesses."

KBED was established in 2008 to align the Manhattan community's strategy for economic development in a way that capitalizes on the university's research strengths and the area's growth opportunities. It is a combined effort by the city, the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Kansas State University, the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, the Kansas State University Research Foundation, the Kansas State University Foundation and the North Central Kansas Community Network.

Since 2009, KBED has helped to attract or retain 16 companies in Manhattan. KBED estimates these companies have an economic impact of $32.5 million in the Manhattan area. The program has helped create 394 full-time jobs that generate $19.1 million in annual salaries. Additionally, KBED has helped university researchers to receive more than $700,000 in industry funds.

"There is no doubt that KBED has positively influenced the economy of the Manhattan community," said Lyle Butler, president and CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. "By connecting businesses with the university, we have created a valuable network of resources for the community. KBED demonstrates the successes that can occur when the city, community and university work as partners."

"The partnerships woven together with KBED's initiative have focused economic development in the Manhattan region in a very realistic and collaborative manner," said Dan Berglund, State Science and Technology Institute president and CEO. "It has successfully bridged town and gown, leveraging the university to grow businesses. Its results demonstrate it is a model for other communities on what a successful partnership looks like."

The State Science and Technology Institute is the leading national organization dedicated to improving the economy through science and technology. The institute's annual conference attracts business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the world.


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