KBED Partnership 

Integrated Community Program

Knowledge Based Economic Development (KBED) is a unique partnership of civic, academic and private sector entities working together to support new and growing companies in Manhattan, Kansas. This integrated community economic development program seeks to attract companies by leveraging the talent, innovation and training capabilities and infrastructure available at Kansas State University.

KBED’s efforts help increase the number of high-paying jobs, generate new discoveries through university industry collaborations, and boost the infrastructure of the region.

This initiative is supported by a diverse group of successful Manhattan partner organizations including:
  • City of Manhattan
  • Kansas State University Foundation
  • Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization
  • Kansas State University Research Foundation
  • Kansas State University
  • Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce
  • North Central Kansas Community Network


Founded in 2008, KBED now plays an instrumental role in defining the economic development strategy for the Manhattan community. Those strategies include the facilitation of robust private sector/university collaborations, attraction and creation of knowledge based businesses, as well as the development of infrastructure necessary to accommodate a knowledge based economy.

Unlike other economic development initiatives, KBED is organized as an LLC and the organization focuses exclusively on attracting companies that match Kansas State University and the region’s aggregate strengths. This formalized partnership allows the town-gown relationship to thrive and creates an added dimension of ownership and responsibility that enables the strategic vision to be executed successfully.