KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City area has been designated as a “regional tech hub,” local leaders said in a news conference Monday.
Kansas’ U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver spoke at Union Station to deliver the news.
Kansas City Inclusive Biologics and Biomanufacturing Tech Hub (KC BioHub) has been designated as one of the first tech hubs across the country to show potential for rapid growth in key technology sectors.
Kansas City joins 30 other tech hubs across the country, all selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. President Joe Biden made the announcement Monday.
“The wins keep coming for Kansas City,” Lucas posted on X (formerly Twitter). “Out of 300+ applications nationwide, we were selected as one of 31 communities to be designated a Tech Hub by the @CommerceGov. This means millions in federal investment and thousands of jobs in bio manufacturing from Columbia to Manhattan.”
The Commerce Department’s website says KC BioHub “aims to position eastern Kansas and western Missouri as a global leader in biologics and biomanufacturing, increasing domestic production of life-saving vaccines and other preventative technologies.”
The lead agency for the area’s hub is BioNexus KC. The region stretches across all of these Missouri and Kansas towns: Columbia, Jefferson City, Marshall, Warrensburg, Sedalia, Kansas City, Lawrence, Manhattan, Topeka, Ottawa, McPherson, Atchison and St. Joseph.
It will have strong ties to many of the local colleges in those areas. Kansas State University is one of those that will be positively impacted by this coalition.
“K-State is proud to be a part of the Kansas City Inclusive Biologics and Biomanufacturing Tech Hub,” said Beth Montelone, senior associate vice president for research at the university.
“Our use-inspired research in human and animal vaccines and biologics as well as advanced biomaterials will drive the innovation ecosystem of the region. We will also contribute to developing a robust and inclusive workforce for this sector of the economy.”
The KC BioHub’s main goal is to expand biomanufacturing capacity, as well as create jobs and companies in the Kansas City and surrounding areas.
“This exciting announcement builds upon and extends our efforts in research, innovation and workforce development in the areas of biomanufacturing and biosciences,” said David Rosowsky, vice president for research at Kansas State.
The local colleges involved include K-State, the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, University of Missouri-Kansas City, The University of Kansas Medical Center and Kansas City University.
Additionally, local two-year community colleges — Donnelly College, Metropolitan Community College and Kansas City Kansas Community College — are among more than 70 partner organizations.