LAWRENCE – Governor Laura Kelly today celebrated the dedication of the Phase III Expansion Facility at the KU Innovation Park. Formerly the Bioscience and Technology Business Center, the KU Innovation Park is an economic development organization and business incubator that provides lab, office, and co-working facilities to support innovation-driven and technology-focused companies and entrepreneurs.
“By providing direct access to world-class research and talent, the KU Innovation Park and this new facility will incentivize companies to make their technological breakthroughs right here in Kansas,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I’m pleased to celebrate this campus’ expansion, which will continue to drive business success and provide opportunities for graduates in the Lawrence community and across our state.”
The KU Innovation Park’s network of more than 60 high-tech and bioscience companies comprises more than 500 jobs and $35 million in annual payroll. The Phase III building encompasses 66,000 square feet of lab and office space adjacent to the main facility. Its opening kicks off a 15-year plan for the development of a major research and business park in KU’s West District.
By 2036, with 10 buildings and 800,000 square feet of buildout, the Park will contribute more than 4,000 direct jobs in high-growth sectors to help develop, recruit, and retain the next generation of innovation companies that will drive Kansas’ long-term economic growth.
“Kansas is at the cutting edge of research across a wide range of industries, and this fuels the new businesses and jobs of tomorrow,” said Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “Our state’s innovation ecosystem and strong talent pipelines will continue to spark new business investment and create new jobs for highly skilled Kansans to put down roots in our state.”
More than a physical location, the KU Innovation Park is a regional ecosystem of facilities, services, people and partners dedicated to creating a more diverse, resilient and equitable Kansas economy. The independent, nonprofit organization is dedicated to transforming the regional economic landscape through the support of innovation, entrepreneurship and the commercialization of new technologies.
“We were very excited to find out that the Innovation Park received $5 million in SPARK funds allocated by the state, which further advanced the Phase III expansion and also helped begin planning for Phase IV,” said Douglas Girod, Chancellor of the University of Kansas. “We want to thank the State of Kansas for recognizing the value of the Innovation Park and how important it is for the economic development of Lawrence, Douglas County and the state as a whole.”
The four founding stakeholders include the University of Kansas, the City of Lawrence, Douglas County and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. The founding stakeholders work closely with the university to maximize its economic development potential and help retain skilled graduates in the region.
With the support of its underlying coalition of public and private stakeholders, and alongside its vast network of community, industry and government partners, the Innovation Park seeks to leverage the region’s existing strengths and assets to build high-growth, innovation-focused industry clusters that will drive Kansas’ long-term economic growth, sustainability and prosperity for decades to come.
For private industry firms interested in engaging in collaborative research with the University, utilizing University facilities and intellectual property or accessing its pipeline of skilled students and graduates, the KU Innovation Park serves as a gateway to the university and an opportunity to operate in highly-specialized, privately-owned facilities located directly adjacent to campus.
You can learn more about the KU Innovation Park by visiting: https://kuinnovationpark.com.
Photos from today’s event for media use can be found below: