Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WKU- EDC Announce Owensboro-Based Applied Research Programs

The Centre for Business and Research
Western Kentucky University President Dr. Gary Ransdell and Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation President/CEO Nice Brake today announced an economic development partnership creating Owensboro-based applied research programs in plant biotechnology and food science with lab space at the Centre for Business and Research where full-time WKU-Owensboro faculty can successfully interface with existing companies and to help foster new startup companies in the region.

Ransdell said the partnership is part of the Memorandum of Agreement between WKU, the Daviess County Fiscal Court, and GO-EDC committed to exploring opportunities for applied research programs that fit the Owensboro economy and can positively impact economic development. “Our priority at WKU is for our faculty to work to identify and solve problems that help drive economic development and improve quality of life in the communities we serve,” Ransdell said. “This partnership matches our faculty’s strengths with Owensboro’s needs, and I’m pleased for WKU to be a partner with GO-EDC in the Centre for Business and Research.”

GO-EDC President/CEO Nick Brake said the Owensboro Centre for Business and Research is a business accelerator modeled, in part, on the successful program at WKU through their innovation center program at an old shopping mall. “A hallmark of the success in Bowling Green is the connections with WKU applied research programs also located in that incubator,” said Brake. “We hope to replicate some of that success here focusing on the unique strengths in the Owensboro economy.”

The Centre for Business and Research is a 38,000 square-foot business incubation and research center located in a newly renovated 100-year-old tobacco warehouse converted into office and research space supporting high tech development in food science, plant biotechnology, and life science companies. The Centre currently has two tenants. Economic development officials are negotiating leases with three other companies. The Centre will officially open in March, when science wet lab space is completed.

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