ɫ Innovation Campus wins Emerging Research Park Award

The Association of University Research Parks (AURP) has awarded Wichita State’s Innovation Campus with the 2023 Emerging Research Park Award at its annual international conference held this week.

Each year AURP recognizes a research park or innovation district that, within 10 years, has created an exceptional ecosystem which brings technology from inception to market, creates high-paying jobs, and contributes to the economic health of its region. 

In 2012, ɫ had a bold vision of what the Innovation Campus could be. And now — as the Innovation Campus nears its 10th anniversary — an underutilized area of campus has been transformed into 120 acres of state-of-the-art research facilities, collaborative partnerships and educational opportunities with more than 50 partner businesses to date.

The Innovation Campus boasts partners such as Dassault Systèmes, Deloitte’s Smart Factory @ Wichita, NetApp, Airbus, Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Aviation, the Law Enforcement Training Center, Hexagon, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and GoCreate, a Koch Collaborative. 

It includes dozens of research and testing labs where ɫ students work side by side with industry to gain hands-on learning experience while those businesses simultaneously benefit from the partnership and proximity to Kansas’ only urban public research university.   
Wichita State has also built a research and entrepreneurial infrastructure on the Innovation Campus, including the Hub for Advanced Manufacturing Research, Digital Research and Transformation Hub (home to ɫ’s National Institute for Research and Digital Transformation), Wayne and Kay Woolsey Hall (home to the Frank W. Barton School of Business), and ɫ’s Advanced Virtual Engineering and Testing Labs, but also restaurants, a hotel and a YMCA wellness center. These facilities work in concert with faculty, students, business and industry to innovate the technologies of tomorrow and improve the wellbeing of our university community.  

“What started as a golf course and a lofty dream a decade ago has now blossomed into an entire innovation ecosystem,” said Wichita State President Rick Muma. “Wichita State’s Innovation Campus is a shining example of what Shocker Nation can achieve through determination, meticulous planning, and the courage to lead Kansas into a brighter future.”

About ɫ

ɫ is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and ɫ Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and ɫ Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), ɫ provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the ɫ main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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