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Wichita State seeks $31 million for innovation, tech priorities

Published on -7/23/2014, 10:10 AM

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WICHITA (MCT) — Wichita State University president John Bardo has asked the Kansas Board of Regents for more than $31 million over the next two fiscal years to support economic innovation, diversification and technology at the school.
"It was very positive," Bardo said of Tuesday's presentation in Topeka, where he made WSU's case for special funding priorities.
"Of course, we are in the very early stages."
The regents are expected to make their decision later this fall.
The money includes $12 million to help fund construction of an innovation center on the WSU Innovation Campus. Earlier this month, it was announced that Tech Mahindra, an India-based company, plans to collaborate with WSU on the new innovation campus, along with NetApp. More collaborations are expected to be announced in coming months.
The innovation campus would blend science, technology, engineering and mathematics research for creating products and developing new ways of doing things, Bardo said. The campus would house the W. Frank Barton School of Business along with the innovation center. Half of the construction cost would be paid for by private funds.
Three million dollars would be used to fund 100 doctoral fellowships and $1.7 million for positions and operating support for transferring technology and business infrastructure, Bardo said.
"This is more than a wish list, this is part of the process where we have been asked what our highest priorities are," Bardo said. "This allowed the regents to see what our strategic plan is about."
Phase 2 of the plan would be a request for $15 million for innovation equipment.
"The new technologies of manufacturing require very modern high-technology equipment," Bardo said. "We'd like to get a three-dimensional printer that allows us to create full-size major components for aircraft and automobiles and anything else.
"If we can, we want to help Wichita grow jobs, improve the quality of life and provide first-class education for our students."
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(c)2014 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)
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