Western Kentucky University and the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. are teaming up to provide business expertise to existing Owensboro-area companies and help foster start-up businesses in the region.
“Our priority at WKU is for our faculty to work to identify and solve problems that help drive economic development and improve quality of life in the communities we serve,” said WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell. “This partnership matches our faculty’s strengths with Owensboro’s needs.”
The WKU-OEDC partnership involves developing Owensboro-based applied research programs in plant biotechnology and food science, and includes lab space at the Centre for Business and Research in Owensboro.
The Centre for Business and Research is a 38,000-s.f. business incubation and research center located in a newly renovated 100-year-old tobacco warehouse that has been converted into office and research space. The centre will support high-tech development in food science, plant biotechnology, and life science companies.
OEDC President Nick Brake said the Owensboro Centre for Business and Research is modeled, in part, on a successful innovation program at WKU that is located in a former shopping mall.
“We hope to replicate some of that success here focusing on the unique strengths in the Owensboro economy,” Brake said.