Council on Postsecondary Education
$6 million in knowledge-based economy funds awarded to Kentucky start-up businesses and university research in FY2006
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and the Council on Postsecondary Education announced 105 awards totaling $6 million for business start-ups and faculty research for the first half of this fiscal year. Since 2001, KSTC has distributed 765 awards totaling $31.4 million throughout the commonwealth.
As directed by the Kentucky Innovation Act of 2000, the Council contracts with KSTC to implement Kentucky’s knowledge-based economy programs. All KSTC projects undergo rigorous peer review and fall within the state's five priority research areas: biosciences, environmental technologies, human health and development, information technology and communications, and materials science and advanced manufacturing.
The benefits to Kentucky’s economy have been significant. Through June 30, 2005, KSTC investments have resulted in 120 new companies, 1,542 new jobs, three new patents and 56 other invention disclosures and patent applications.
“Today’s announcement reflects the momentum that is building around our efforts to create the critical mass of researchers and entrepreneurs that Kentucky needs,” stated Dr. Jim Applegate, Council vice president. “This partnership is a leapfrog strategy that focuses on wealth creation and is our best hope to improve dramatically the state’s per capita income as the primary indicator of the success of our economic development efforts,” he added.
Unique to the program is a profit-sharing feature. Companies that receive awards totaling $25,000 or more are required to pay back twice the amount of the award if their businesses are successful. This money helps replenish the award funds, enabling investments in more technology companies. Through this policy, Kentucky has received a $394,089 return on investment as of June 30, 2005.
“The commonwealth needs globally competitive companies that invest in individuals and communities in every region of the state,” said Dr. Tom Layzell, Council president. “We will continue to strengthen the strategic link between postsecondary education and economic development to develop a knowledge-based economy.”
KSTC President Kris Kimel noted, “This announcement is not about funded projects...but about investments in the imagination, innovation and know-how of Kentucky's rural and urban entrepreneurs, college and university scientists and engineers and knowledge-driven companies whose success will form the basis for the state's future economic growth.”
KSTC manages the Kentucky Enterprise Fund, the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation, and Kentucky EPSCoR, each created by the Kentucky Innovation Act of 2000. Since inception of awards in 2001, the Kentucky Enterprise Fund has provided 223 awards totaling $10.6 million, KSEF has provided 231 awards for $10.2 million, and Kentucky EPSCoR has provided 311 awards for $10.6 million.
Kentucky's postsecondary education system encompasses eight public institutions and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, numerous independent institutions and Kentucky Adult Education. The system represents 231,612 students, 538,866 Kentucky alumni and 294,896 GED recipients. When Kentuckians earn postsecondary degrees, their skills improve and their wages go up; they are more likely to lead healthy lives and be engaged in their communities; and they build better futures for themselves and their families.
Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1987. Its mission is dedicated to advancing entrepreneurial start-up companies, university research ultimately leading to commercial applications and education initiatives.