Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

$1.3 million in federal funds granted for research, equipment

The Kansas Polymer Research Center at Pittsburg State University is receiving more than $1.1 million in federal money for new bio-based research, thanks to the recent passage of the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

The appropriation is the largest amount of federal funding the center has received in its 13-year history. The money will be used for long-term research projects producing new bio materials from renewable resources such as vegetable oils and animal fats. Some of these new materials could include items like shoe soles, coatings, adhesives, and solvents.

The bill, which was signed last week by President Bush, awards more than $1.1 million to the KPRC. The Kansas Technology Center will also receive more than $260,000 as part of the bill, money that will be used for updating and purchasing equipment.

“We are extremely pleased to be receiving these funds,” said Steve Robb, director of the KPRC and the PSU Business and Technology Institute. “It’s not every day something like this happens. Our challenge is to leverage the federal money into some special projects that can benefit the state of Kansas and the country as a whole.”

Pittsburg State University administrators began working on getting an earmark within a funding bill two years ago, when they met with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture who were interested in their research. An earmark made it into last year’s bill, but did not make it into the final bill signed by the president. This year, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, who recently visited the campus, worked with Rep. Nancy Boyda to push the funding through for the KPRC and the KTC.

The funds, which will be disbursed through the Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service, should start to arrive in March.

“I am pleased that Pittsburg State received necessary funds for the Kansas Polymer Research Center,” Brownback said. “I know PSU will make good use of these funds to continue its vital research.”

Boyda said that in addition to the KPRC, she is pleased to see the Kansas Technology Center benefit.

“This new investment will strengthen PSU’s technology education programs and help the university graduate a new generation of Kansas leaders,” she said. “The future of the Kansas economy depends on our ability to produce highly skilled graduates in science, technology, and engineering.”

---Pitt State---