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Silo-Busting Events That Drive Economic Development (Webinar)

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The UEDA "Where Are They Now?" webinar series features past Awards of Excellence finalists as they share an overivew of leading best practices in higher education economic engagement and updated impacts this initiative has supported in their respective region.

Kansas State University was a 2016 Finalist in the Innovation Category and selcted as the overall category leader.

UEDA members receive free admission. Please check your email for a special promotional code, or contact us at

About this Session

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, 25 events have been hosted with over 950 participants.

Learning Objectives

By participating in this webinar, participants will learn about best practices from the K-State series, and learn about how to develop venues of their own to generate a pipeline of robust interdisciplinary collaborations that translate to technology transfer, company attraction or expansion, start-up company creation, or other economic growth outcomes.

Who Should Attend

  • University Administration (especially Research offices, industry engagement offices, or economic development professionals)

  • Economic development centers and practitioners

  • Government representatives

About the Presenters

Rebecca Robinson
Director of Economic Development
Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization

Rebecca is the Director of Economic Development at the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, where she leads the organization’s partnership with Knowledge-Based Economic Development, LLC in Manhattan, KS. Ms. Robinson focuses on recruiting or expanding businesses to the region that have a research-based relationship with Kansas State University. In partnership with the community and university, she has participated in the recruitment of 18 technology-based companies to the Manhattan, Kansas region, creating over 480 new high-wage jobs and a projected economic impact of over $70 million. She consults with emerging companies to provide strategy and business plan development and has facilitated over $750,000 in corporate sponsored research and $55.8 million in investment capital raised. Ms. Robinson has garnered international recognition for her economic development efforts at Kansas State University, including invited presentations at national conferences and multiple awards of excellence for the KBED partnership. Ms. Robinson earned her master’s degree in Business Administration and her bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Spanish, and Leadership Studies, both from Kansas State University.

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