A nearly $3.5 million project is expected to be a shot in the arm for Salina and for Kansas State University.
Officials Wednesday morning announced plans for the Salina Bulk Solids Innovation Center. The primary partners in the project are K-Tron of Salina and the K-State campuses both in Salina and Manhattan.
The facility will develop and utilize systems for bulk solids, things like loose, dry commodities or ingredients. Examples include sugar, starch, minerals, chemicals, and plastic granules. The science of dry bulk solids is not fully understood and is still developing.
The center will include a material properties test lab area, a full scale bulk solids test bay, additional research areas, and also a training and research
Both faculty and students from K-State will use the facility, which will be strictly a research facility. It will be located along North Front Street, on land donated by K-Tron.
K-Tron General Manager Todd Smith tells KSAL News that the company has been in Salina for 60 years. They have seen great growth, and now have clients all over the world. Last year, one of their biggest vendors was in Saudi Arabia.
Salina City Manager Jason said that the facility will create multiple “Premiere Jobs”. It will create 31 jobs, and K-State will also dedicate a faculty position to it. A “Premiere Job” in Salina has a minimum salary of $40,000, and benefits.
Companies including DuPont, Dow, and ADM will benefit from research at the new facility, and will help support it in various ways.
A large portion of the funding will come via a federal grant. Officials stressed Wednesday that they have received approval from the government to go forward with the grant process, but it has not received final approval.