Commerce University Partnerships

The Kansas Department of Commerce partners with Kansas universities and related organizations to support Governor Brownback's strategic vision of universities as engines of economic growth. These collaborative efforts support the Governor's economic development strategy for the state of Kansas.

A Steering Committee including representatives from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Board of Regents oversees the work of the partners and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce. The Guiding Principles inform the partners’ work and include metrics that benchmark progress. The Innovation Growth Program, University Research Grants and University Engineering Initiative Act are collectively referred to as the Commerce-University Partnerships.

Innovation Growth Program


The Innovation Growth partners support Governor Brownback’s overall vision of Kansas research universities as engines of economic growth. The partners are tasked with leveraging university research to better support commercialization efforts using public-private partnerships.

University Engineering Initiative Act (UEIA)


The UEIA supports the increase of undergraduate engineering graduates in Kansas with legislative appropriations totaling $105M over 10 years, and includes an equal matching amount from our university partners. Recognizing the competitive need for an increase in the number of engineering graduates in Kansas, beginning in 2012, the legislature provided support to the Kansas research universities: Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, to ensure engineering industry partners find the new talent, designs and techniques needed to fuel economic growth and business success in Kansas.

University Research Grants


To support Governor Brownback's strategic plan and vision for Kansas research universities as engines of economic growth, universities are pursuing a variety of research goals. These include global food solutions research, cancer research and aviation research.

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