University Economic Development Association


Silo-Busting Strategic Collaboration Series

Award Category: Innovation
Project Site: Silo-Busting Strategic Collaboration Series
Submitted By: Kansas State University
Contact: Rebecca Robinson , 785.532.3955


At Kansas State University (K-State), university-based economic development efforts start with faculty members. They make up the aggregate strengths of the university that serve as economic engines for growth. It is a recognition that these assets are the competitive advantage of a university community that drives the economic development strategy. In order to enhance the competitiveness of this environment and increase the pipeline of opportunities generated from interaction with university faculty, Knowledge Based Economic Development (KBED) a local university/community economic development partnership – at KSU, established a venue for large interdisciplinary collaboration, the Silo- Busting Strategic Collaboration Series. KBED created ongoing thematic events focused on better understanding where K-State has global capabilities and then establishing strategies to leverage those strengths for economic return to the university and community.

KBED partnered with the Office of the President to create this events series aimed at providing opportunities for collaboration by bringing together people of all academic disciplines.

Faculty, staff, researchers and partners are able to gain first-hand knowledge about complex challenges facing, Manhattan, the state of Kansas, and the world. In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security announced that that Manhattan was selected to be the home for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a $1.25-Billion-dollar investment with substantial economic impact expected.  The events in this series were centered around the pivotal question, “What could be an NBAF-type success for this area of strength?” The first event focused on Economic Development and was held in 2010. Since the inaugural event, 23 events have been hosted with over 825 participants.