The Bioscience & Technology Business Center (BTBC), located on KU’s West Campus in Lawrence, has begun construction on its Phase III expansion facility which will open in the Spring of 2022. A not-for-profit economic development organization and business incubator, BTBC’s mission is to create high-paying Kansas jobs and to create a more diverse and resilient Kansas economy by developing the bioscience and technology industry clusters around the strengths of the University of Kansas. With the opening of Phase III, the BTBC will transition its brand to the KU Innovation Park; however, the organization’s mission and core values will remain unchanged.
BTBC’s unique coalition model represents a decade-long public-private partnership between the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, the Lawrence Chamber, and the University of Kansas. What began as a small incubator program, the organization has expanded its focus and footprint over the years, becoming a center for commercialization, entrepreneurship, and industry-university collaboration, making it a major engine for economic growth in the region. From its original 20,000 sqft. incubator building on west campus, BTBC now manages nearly 100,000 sqft across three locations, including a laboratory expansion facility in West Lawrence, and the incubator at the KU Medical Center campus in Kansas City. Currently, the BTBC system includes 60 high-tech and bioscience companies representing more than 400 high-wage jobs with $25+ million in annual payroll.
Once completed, the new 66,000 sq ft. facility will include laboratory, office, and collaborative spaces which will provide much needed expansion space for some of BTBC’s fastest growing startups, help the organization recruit new companies to Lawrence, and free up space for additional startup companies in BTBC’s current incubator facility, which has been operating at maximum occupancy for close to three years.
An exciting development itself, Phase III represents only the first step in BTBC’s larger vision for the development of a bioscience and technology focused research and business park on KU’s west campus–the KU Innovation Park. A dense concentration of innovation-supporting facilities, infrastructure, services, and programming, the KU Innovation Park will support a broad mix of start-up companies, private industry firms, government agencies, and KU research. Over the next ten years, the Park will create skilled jobs in the professional, technology, science, and management industries broadening and diversifying the regional economic profile and helping retain Kansas’ highly-educated workforce. With the opening of Phase III, BTBC will transition into its role as the park authority, rebranding to the KU Innovation Park, and expanding the scope of its services, programming, and infrastructure.
The expansion and construction are possible due to the support of BTBC’s numerous founding partners including the University of Kansas, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, and the combined efforts of the Kansas University Endowment Association, the Kansas Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Originally published by Danni Hammontree here.