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Posted on: November 3, 2020

The Edge Collaboration District at Kansas State University Connects Industry to World-Class Talent

image0 (1)MANHATTAN, KANSAS — If your company does business in agriculture, biosecurity/biodefense, or animal/public health, consider how establishing a location in the Edge Collaboration District at Kansas State University could boost your future bottom line. 

This district — a partnership between K-State and the KSU Foundation — provides space for industry collaboration along the north edge of the Manhattan campus. Office space, laboratory space and shovel-ready sites are available throughout the Edge District, which includes the nearly completed USDA National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine, the K-State College of Agriculture’s Grain Science Complex, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the K-State Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) and other national and international partners. 

“The Edge District is where industry, K-State research and the creation of workforce talent come together to produce meaningful innovations and real outcomes for Kansas and beyond,” said Kate Ryan, commercial leasing and engagement manager for the KSU Foundation. “Inspired by the university’s land-grant mission, this space has already attracted more than a dozen industry partners working in some type of collaboration with six different academic colleges on our campus.”

Two billion dollars of current and planned infrastructure investment will further inspire new collaboration in this area over the next decade, which is anticipated to house 5,000 jobs by 2035. 

“The motivation behind the Edge Collaboration District reinforces K-State’s resolve to be a leader in research and talent development,” said K-State President Richard Myers. “Our combined assets and expertise have earned K-State the reputation of the Silicon Valley for global food, health and biodefense.”

Locating in the Edge District is about more than just leasing space. All partner tenants must strengthen Kansas State University in some way. Here are just a few of the valuable opportunities for companies who locate here:

  • Access to talent pipeline — Employ students and interns, who often transition to full-time employment after graduation. 
  • Student mentoring — Provide opportunities for students to carry out research and collaborate with professionals, host student networking and recruiting events, present to classes, or mentor/host field work. 
  • Faculty collaboration — Partner with K-State faculty and graduate students to conduct research needed to grow your business or develop new technologies. 
  • University sponsorship — Sponsor university competitive teams, events, clubs and campus spaces such as studios and collaborative places. 
  • Serve on campus advisory boards — Help ensure curricula are relevant to professional and research settings so students are prepared for real-world jobs.
  • Advance K-State’s innovation and research — Contribute products, services and professional knowledge to help students and faculty with new discoveries and developments. 

Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg, president of Veterinary and Biomedical Research Center, Inc., made the decision in 2013 to expand his Nebraska-based business to Manhattan to be near NBAF and other animal health companies in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor. They found an appropriate location for livestock work east of Manhattan, but needed an office setting where they could meet clients, promote their services, and support administrative needs of corporate, K-State, and NBAF-related clients. They choose to open an office in the K-State Office Park in 2015, becoming one of the park’s first tenants.  

"Our K-State Office Park location continues to help grow our business and expand our opportunity to help approve products that improve the well-being of livestock and provide safe and wholesome food,” Lechtenberg said. “We're excited for continued opportunities as NBAF fully gears up in the years ahead."

For Garmin, the choice to locate in the K-State Office Park was focused on talent recruitment — and so far the decision has paid off.  

“Summer internships often result in part-time opportunities once school resumes,” said Jeff Kacirek, Garmin software engineering manager. “Having an office close to campus allows engineering students to conveniently continue working on projects.”

Whether your company would be best served by a leased satellite office, laboratory space or a custom-built facility, check out the many options available in the Edge Collaboration District, which contains opportunities for private industry to lease space in the K-State Office Park, the K-State Research Park, and the soon to open K-Labs facility. 

K-State Office Park


The KSU Foundation has built and is leasing out space in two of the five planned office buildings in the K-State Office Park, which offers many high-end amenities including a full-service restaurant, Rockin’ K’s. The park features shared event space, common areas to encourage collaboration, balconies with views of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, an on-site fitness center and a coworking space, edge@1880. Take a virtual tour or learn more at:

K-State Research Park

Located directly to the northeast of NBAF is the K-State Research Park, where shovel-ready sites are available. Agricultural and biological research happen synchronously in the park across university, public, and private enterprises. The Research Park includes the K-State/Manhattan Innovation Center, the Kansas Department of Agriculture Headquarters and Laboratories, the College of Human Ecology’s Mary and Carl Ice Hall, and is the future home of the Stormont Vail Cotton O’Neil Manhattan Medical Campus. Learn more today.



In the future, K-Labs will offer dedicated and shared laboratory space for multiple companies and researchers. Members will have 24/7 access to shared equipment, meeting rooms and office spaces. These labs will be open to public and private partners who strengthen Kansas State University. More details are available here

Learn More

If your needs don’t require a physical location, but a research partnership with K-State faculty might be advantageous for your company, check out opportunities through the Biosecurity Research Institute. Some BSL-3Ag laboratory space is also available for lease at the BRI.

Learn more about the Greater Manhattan region and other sites available for lease or new construction at

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