KU Innovation Park secures $22 million in federal funding for next facility

KU Innovation Park will receive $22 million in federal funding for its Phase IV facility, the Kansas National Security Innovation Center (KNSIC).

This facility will enhance the growing cybersecurity and defense industry cluster at the Park. It will play a pivotal role in advancing research and innovation pertaining to national security, contributing directly to safeguarding the nation’s interests. KNSIC will also bolster the expanding expertise at the University of Kansas in this field.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a long-time supporter of the Park, helped secure the funding as the co-chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. “KU is developing into a major research and development hub, and these federal resources will help expand the great work being done at KU Innovation Park,” Moran said. “Equipping the Park with a high-security dry lab will enable KU to obtain more federal and private contracts to work on innovative solutions to some of our nation’s complex challenges. I look forward to seeing how the new lab will contribute to our national success and provide Kansas students with a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity.”

Currently in design development, Phase IV will include an 80,000-square-foot building located near the Park’s current footprint and is estimated to bring more than 250 jobs to the Park. The KNSIC will foster collaboration between academia, industry and government, driving innovation, creating jobs and enhancing the regional economy. The high-security office and lab space will enable collaborative research and commercialization of national security technologies.

“This transformative investment underscores the Park’s commitment to advancing cutting-edge research and strengthening our nation’s security,” said Adam Courtney, CEO of KU Innovation Park. “Thanks to Sen. Moran’s support and advocacy, these funds will position KU and Kansas as leaders in national security research and innovation, drive economic growth and retain and attract talent.”

Moran’s previous support for the Park includes helping secure $957,000 to outfit a Good Manufacturing Practice lab in 2022, announcing a $1.5 million Build to Scale grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to develop an accelerator program and participating at the groundbreaking of Phase III, made possible by $7.8 million in federal funding along with public and private partnerships. The senator also secured $5 million for the KU Radar Center to continue the Army’s work researching communications in contested environments.

“We are proud of the continued growth of KU Innovation Park, and we are especially pleased that this newest expansion will strengthen KU’s position as a leader in cybersecurity and national defense,” said Douglas A. Girod, chancellor of the University of Kansas. “Once complete, this new facility will enhance KU’s ability to conduct cutting-edge research and create new technologies and solutions that will benefit cybersecurity and help protect individuals, companies and government entities. Additionally, this new facility will bolster our efforts to educate students who will become the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity and related fields. We deeply appreciate Sen. Moran’s advocacy for this most recent round of federal funding, and we are grateful for his ongoing support of the entire university.”

Moran on Thursday announced the funding for the Park at the FBI and KU Cybersecurity Conference. Phase IV is tentatively scheduled to open in 2026.