Gov. Kelly celebrates economic development at BTBC expansion groundbreaking


LAWRENCE, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly is celebrating economic development and innovation at the groundbreaking for the University of Kansas BTBC expansion.

Governor Laura Kelly says she is applauding the announcement of the Phase III expansion of the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas and the introduction of the new KU Innovation Park.

Gov. Kelly said the Phase III expansion includes a new 70,000 square foot facility, featuring fully functional wet labs, offices and collaborative spaces for its tenant startups. She said the facility will be home to 250 new high-tech jobs.

“The University of Kansas Bioscience & Technology Business Center expansion will assist my administration’s efforts to create good jobs, keep Kansas graduates in our communities, and foster the local infrastructure of talent, resources, and business support that promotes sustainable economic resiliency in our state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I offer my congratulations to BTBC, and I look forward to seeing the full potential of this impressive initiative that will support our state’s growth for decades to come.”

Gov. Kelly said she joined U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod, Lawrence Mayor Jennifer Ananda, BTBC Executive Chair E LaVerne Epp, U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Anthony Foti and U.S. Department of Commerce Office of External Affairs and Communications Director Joel Frushone in making the announcement on Thursday afternoon.

According to Gov. Kelly, before the expansion, BTBC established itself as a key sector for bioscience startups in Kansa. She said the center is currently home to 50 high-tech and bioscience companies and has created over 400 high-wage jobs resulting in over $22 million in annual payroll. She said the new development is a result of efforts by founders of the BTBC, KU Endowment Asociation, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Kansas Department of Commerce.

“The Department of Commerce is committed to leveraging the research and talent in our state’s higher education institutions to create new jobs and businesses in Kansas,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “BTBC is a powerful ally in building a diversified, robust Kansas economy powered by cutting-edge innovation in bioscience and technology. Congratulations to all involved on this historic achievement for KU and for our state.”

Gov. Kelly said through its support of the BTBC, the DOC will work with local governments to identify opportunities for economic growth and to better direct economic development resources where they will have the greatest local impact.

According to Gov. Kelly, the Phase III of the expansion will further the BTBC’s mission to create high wage jobs by building the state’s high tech and bioscience industry clusters around the strengths of KU, leveraging one of Kansas’ most important economic resources for sustainable long term growth and economic resiliency.

Gov. Kelly said Phase III is the first step in KU’s new Innovation Park, slated to be a unique blend of start-ups, private industry, government agencies and research facilities for KU. She said the park is expected to bring another 2,500 high-paying bioscience jobs to Lawrence.