John Bardo, president of Wichita State University, said the university on Friday filed paperwork with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office seeking incorporation for the Wichita State Innovation Alliance Inc. That entity will manage key parts of the innovation campus that Bardo has been talking about creating for more than a year.
That campus within the campus will create jobs, innovation and income for WSU, if it works out the way he hopes. It’s been mostly unofficial talk until now, though WSU has been negotiating with companies, including NetApp to form public-private partnerships and move onto the new campus.
Now it’s more than talk – it’s paperwork, and official. “It is a very important step,” Bardo said.
The alliance will have a nonprofit 501c3 status, he said. It had to be created to manage WSU’s future relationships with private business partners, and it will isolate university assets from partnership assets, he said.
“It is the basis on which we’ll develop our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he said.
The goals for the new outfit will be to ramp up technical and other kinds of innovation, to ramp up research, to give entrepreneurs a chance at WSU technical and research help, to enhance education, and more, he said. “We’re trying to visualize how to improve our quality of life here, and to visualize what our community will look like in 20 to 30 years, and what role we can play in that,” he said.