Olathe Kansas Bioscience Authority leaders Friday said they took an aggressive step in their plans for the next year.
The authority's executive committee approved its operating plan aimed at strengthening bioscience research and production programs in the state.
"I think we need to be assured that on a continuing basis we are evaluating ourselves," said Bill Sanford, the authority's vice chairman and chairman of Florida-based Symark LLC.
The authority's board of directors manages the state's $580 million program aimed at strengthening the bioscience industry. Elected state leaders appoint board members.
Tom Thornton, the authority's president and CEO, said approval of the operating plan allows the authority to continue to hire staff and expand its operations and initiate more programs to encourage research and lure and retain bioscience scholars.
It will also help the authority aid the state in luring the federal government's planned new National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility to Manhattan.
Board members said they intended to continue discussing their operating plan when the full authority convenes in October.
"We'll have to see if it goes beyond our grasp, but I like that kind of planning. I'm glad we're trying to push the boundaries a little bit," said Ray Smilor, a board member and executive director for the Beyster Institute at the University of California in San Diego.
Thornton on Friday also told the executive committee that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security likely won't name the selection of the NBAF site until December because a final environmental impact statement on each site will likely come out in early November.
Other than Manhattan, finalists are Athens, Ga.; Flora, Miss.; San Antonio; Granville County, N.C.; and NBAF's current home at Plum Island, N.Y.