WSU launches center to help small composites, advanced materials firms

Wichita State said today it is starting a center that will help companies in the composites and advanced materials sector.

The goals of the Center for Innovation and Enterprise Engagement are to provide companies assistance with engineering support, work force training and business planning.

"The center will expand the capacity of south-central Kansas companies to conceive, develop and produce new technologies," Engineering Dean Zulma Toro-Ramos said in a news release. "We will help them implement new manufacturing processes and improve on the processes that already exist."

Toro-Ramos will direct the center.

It will initially be operated by Debra Franklin, who has worked with advanced materials and composites firms under a federal grant for expanding work force training in science, technology, engineering and math.

Franklin is already working with several companies. The center will primarily serve small and mid-sized firms of up to 100 employees.

It will be funded through government grants and payments for services.