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Topeka sets sites on animal health innovation campus

This artist rendering shows a potential animal health innovation campus in the area between SW Topeka Blvd. and S. Kansas Ave. along the Kansas River.
This artist rendering shows a potential animal health innovation campus in the area between SW Topeka Blvd. and S. Kansas Ave. along the Kansas River.(City of Topeka)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 8:28 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Go Topeka is looking to create a large-scale animal health innovation campus.

The economic development organization this week hired two national real estate developers to evaluate two potential locations. The selected site would house research and development labs, along with office space for both startups and corporate partners. It also would be home to Plug and Play’s Animal Health/Ag Tech Startup Accelerator Program.

Plug and Play announced in August 2019 that it selected Topeka for its first program with this focus due to its central location on the KC Animal Health Corridor. The area - stretching from Manhattan, Kan. to Columbia, Mo. - is home to more than 300 animal health companies. Go Topeka hopes developing the campus will help the city further capitalize on the location.

“Once we secured the Plug and Play Animal Health/Ag Tech Startup Accelerator program, it became our responsibility to devise a long-term strategy that supports the infrastructure of Topeka’s innovation scene; this means finding the best setting to develop our innovation campus,” said Katrin Bridges, senior vice president of innovation, Greater Topeka Partnership.

Artists renderings show one potential site on the south side of the Kansas River, between Kansas Ave. and Topeka Blvd. They’ll also look at Kanza Education and Science Park, off I-70 and Macvicar.

Go Topeka has enlisted the services of Clark Enersen Partners of Kansas City, Mo. and California-based BioRealty, Inc. Go Topeka says it chose the companies for their experience in developing state-of-the-art scientific research facilities. Their work includes the Nebraska Innovation Campus, University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Park, and South Dakota State University Innovation Campus They will present their Topeka site evaluation findings this winter.

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