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Technology Development Institute Receives CARES Funding To Create Innovation Stimulus Program

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

MANHATTAN — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded the Technology Development Institute, or TDI, at Kansas State University grant funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to assist regional innovation efforts.

TDI is using the funding to create an Innovation Stimulus Program, which provides no-cost commercialization and engineering services to projects that will have a positive economic impact in the region, said Jeff Tucker, executive director of TDI.

The program will offer up to $150,000 worth of services to help move projects, products or ideas forward in the marketplace over the next 12 months with a maximum award of $20,000 for any single project. The goal of the program is to help manufacturers and innovators with their innovation efforts even when cash flow may be in short supply, Tucker said.

Examples of projects that would fit within the Innovation Stimulus Program would be design, engineering or prototyping of new product ideas, including creation of SolidWorks models or drawings of existing product lines, or modification of existing product drawings to make improvements/upgrades. In addition, conducting preliminary intellectual property, customer and/or market research on new product ideas and creation of new websites or marketing materials such as brochures or technical product specification sheets would be eligible.

“We are excited to partner with the Economic Development Administration in offering a program that supports the development of new and innovative ideas that will benefit the job creators of our region,” Tucker said. “We are hopeful that by providing the technical support services at no cost, we can ensure our region maintains a competitive advantage and ensures that the impacts of the economic downturn are minimized.”

Applications for the program opened on Aug. 1 and will remain open until all funding has been allocated. More details on the program and a link to the online application can be found on the TDI website under the Innovation Stimulus Program page.

The K-State Technology Development Institute, a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration University Center, provides a broad range of engineering and business development services to both private industry and university researchers to advance the commercial readiness of new products or technologies. Additional information is available at k-state.edu/tdi.

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