Official: Cut to hurt bioscience projects

It's unclear how much of an effect a $5 million cut is going to have on the Kansas Bioscience Authority, but one industry official said Tuesday it will be felt.

On Monday, Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson cut $259 million from the state budget in the face of declining tax revenue.

The cuts included eliminating $5 million from the KBA's transfer authority for bioscience industry projects and commercialization efforts in the state.

"Five million dollars is a significant reduction that's going to require us to evaluate where we're going to prioritize funding," said Angela Kreps, president of KansasBIO, an industry trade group, and a member of KBA's 11-member board of directors.

"We recognize that Kansas, like most other states, is suffering from an extreme budget shortfall," she said.

Kreps couldn't sax exactly how the $5 million cut will affect KBA.

Tom Thornton, KBA's chief executive, didn't return calls Tuesday.

"We will continue to push forward... to increase our bioscience ranking," Kreps said.

The KBA was a $581 million initiative created by the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004.

Its mission is to expand the state's research capabilities, promote innovation and recruit and foster creation of bioscience companies.

In the 2009 fiscal year, the KBA said it committed more than $177 million to 32 bioscience projects, bringing total commitments to $225 million since its inception. KBA said those investments have helped to create and retain 1,159 jobs and attract $44 million in research funding and $29 million in equity investments.