November 18, 2011 12:00AM
Although Pittsburg State University may not be the first to come to mind when one thinks of research institutions in Kansas, the fact is that Pittsburg State is home to dynamic faculty-led research, as well as the Kansas Polymer Research Center. University officials believe the creation of a new foundation will help PSU strengthen its already impressive research credentials.
In a move geared toward the future, Pittsburg State University this month held the first meeting of the PSU Research Foundation (PSURF). The foundation will allow the university to better manage its current research projects and become a resource for researchers throughout the university.
"Pittsburg State has enjoyed a variety of successful research projects in the past decade, but in order to take the next step as a research institution, we really needed to develop a better method of managing our research efforts," explained Andy Myers, executive director of the Business and Technology Institute. "PSURF will allow us to do just that. Our dedicated researchers and faculty members will now have a resource to help them develop proposals, administer funding and, if the research warrants it, facilitate the commercialization of any findings."
The creation of PSURF is a natural progression for a university that prides itself on being regional leader in higher education.
"Research is valuable on so many levels," said Myers. "It increases the educational experience for our students, gives faculty members a way to stay engaged with their disciplines at the forefront of discovery and offers a potential revenue stream to the university for technology that is developed here. The value of PSURF to the university will only increase in years to come."
The foundation's board consists of local and regional educational, commercial, and technical leaders. The group was presented with its first project during its inaugural meeting earlier this month. The research project is focused on developing a bio-based plastic composite for a new company in Cottonwood Falls, Kan., called Green Dot Holdings.
"It's exciting because we're doing research that has the potential to benefit our environment as well as a company's bottom line," said Myers. "Perhaps even more exciting are the collaborations and potential that these types of discoveries hold for Pittsburg State University."