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MU Leases Blue Springs Building

Lease began in April 2010, would provide basis for increased scientific collaboration in KC region

March 26th, 2010

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— University of Missouri officials announced today that they have signed a lease agreement to occupy space in the Heartland Building, located adjacent to I-70 on NE Coronado Drive in Blue Springs, Mo. This agreement will enable Mizzou, in accordance with its statewide mission, to generate increased scientific collaboration in the region, while development continues on the Missouri Innovation Park.

“This agreement will allow us to bring unique outreach programs to the Kansas City region on an accelerated timetable,” MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said. “As the Missouri Innovation Park develops, this is an early chance for us to establish relationships with new tenants.”

Previously, MU officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation and the city of Blue Springs that established the Missouri Innovation Park. Ultimately, university administrators and researchers want to collaborate with scientific and commercial businesses in the research and private industrial Kansas City area communities. Some of the initial programs that will be housed in the space include:

  • MU School of Information Science and Learning Technologies – this office will provide Web site usability testing services for small and large businesses, government agencies, or any organization that has or wants to have a Web presence. They also will offer a service that will match faculty expertise to design training programs and information services.
  •  MU Office of Research – the office would house liaisons who will focus on building partnerships with engineering and biomedical corporations, as well as technology transfer.
  • MU DIRECT/Distance Learning – currently, approximately 900 students from the Kansas City region are taking six hours of credit per semester through MU DIRECT, the distance learning program for the university.  The new space will allow MU DIRECT to expand its distance-learning and professional development and information technology programs in the Kansas City area.
  • MU Extension Food and Nutrition programs – MU faculty and staff currently manage the largest nutrition education program in the state. With the new space, four full-time nutrition staff members will help cover the education effort in eastern Jackson County
  • MU Career Services – through the MU Academic Support Center, MU administrators hope to increase the possibilities for internships and post-graduation employment placement for students.
  •  MU College of Veterinary Medicine – the college will use its space to develop and extend research partnerships within the Animal Health Corridor, which runs from Columbia to Manhattan, Kan.

“During these difficult times, we want to broaden our role as an economic driver for the state of Missouri through additional collaborations between our researchers and private industry and by preparing our students to be flexible and successful in today’s business climate,” MU Provost Brian Foster said.

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