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Archive for Friday, June 26, 2009

Troubled Kansas Technology group to discuss its future

June 26, 2009

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— Under new leadership, the beleaguered Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. will meet Monday to try to map out its future.

The state agency charged with trying to promote technology-based development in Kansas had been under fire in recent months from former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and several lawmakers.

Sebelius vetoed KTEC’s funding, saying the agency wasn’t performing well and its functions could be taken over in other areas of government.

The Legislature, however, kept KTEC alive, appropriating about $7 million, which is about one-half its annual appropriation.

KTEC’s longtime president and chief executive Tracy Taylor has since resigned, and a new KTEC board chairman, Kyle Elliott, was appointed earlier this month.

Elliott, a patent attorney, said earlier that KTEC is at a crossroads. “Where do we want KTEC to go? There are no easy answers,” he said at the board’s last meeting.

Some have suggested that some of KTEC’s mission could be taken over by the Kansas Bioscience Authority, which played a lead role in helping the state win the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in a tough competition with other states.

At the last KTEC board meeting, some board members indicated that further KBA involvement in KTEC programs may be inevitable given the magnitude of program cuts to KTEC.

Gov. Mark Parkinson said his greater concern is the possibility of overlapping between KTEC, the KBA and Kansas Department of Commerce.

In an earlier interview, Parkinson said, “One of the frustrating things about government is, once an agency is created it never goes away.”

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