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Posted on: December 8, 2020

How Your Company Can Partner with the Biosecurity Research Institute

SEEK - BRI Biosafety-5337Established in 2008, the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, houses biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) and biosafety level-3 Agriculture (BSL-3Ag) laboratories. The BRI supports all aspects of work with high-consequence pathogens affecting plants, animals and food products, including zoonotic pathogens that infect humans.

In other words, they work with the worst of the worst. But they’d like to work with your company, too!

Whether your organization is investigating diseases, developing new therapeutics or creating vaccines, the experts who staff the BRI are ready and eager to partner with your pharmaceutical, biosecurity or animal health company to tackle agricultural and public health threats. 

“The BRI has unique capabilities in terms of research, education and training with highly talented staff and researchers who enable safe and secure work with a wide range of highly pathogenic organisms,” said Stephen Higgs, K-State associate vice president for research and director of the BRI.

Research collaboration

When working with private industry, the Biosecurity Research Institute offers multidisciplinary research services including detection of pathogens in food, vaccine development and validation, diagnostic technology development and basic biology of pathogens of animals, humans or plants. 

The prime location of the BRI on the K-State campus ensures easy proximity to one of the biggest concentrations of animal health, biosecurity and food science expertise in the world.

You can work with the BRI in a number of ways, depending on the stage of your project, your own staff’s capacity and capabilities and the type of research collaboration, biocontainment or lab services you need.

“We can work with companies to develop projects and assist with approvals, and then either conduct the work or facilitate employees of the companies to do the work,” Higgs said.

1202151139026Research facilities

The BRI boasts state-of-the-art research space

The faculty and staff will work with you to accommodate any specialized equipment you may need as well. The BRI is one of very few facilities in the U.S. to offer BSL-3Ag capacity to work with large animals such as cattle, swine and sheep.

“The facility has rooms dedicated to working with food-borne pathogens, pathogens of plants, and pathogens of animals including zoonotic pathogens that infect people,” Higgs said. “Nowhere else has this combination of dedicated spaces under one roof.”

When you rent BRI research space, you automatically have the use of autoclaves, change corridors and animal support spaces. In addition, you will benefit from the availability of lab equipment, refrigerators, freezers, biosafety cabinets, incubators and other apparatuses.

Employee training programs

Not only can the BRI function as an extension of your R&D team, they can greatly enhance your training efforts as well.

The 10,000 square foot education and training space contains a classroom connected to a training lab, a lecture hall, connectivity to research spaces and conference/meeting rooms. The BRI is one of the few facilities in the nation with a training lab and equipment to simulate research practices and emergency drills.

And whether you need to train your employees who are working in the BRI or set up training for employees working in your own facility, BRI experts stand ready to help.

SEEK - BRI Biosafety-5287-EditHow to get started

K-State and the BRI have robust, well-supported systems in place to set up and carry out industry partnerships, demonstrating an entrepreneurial mindset that isn’t always evident at other higher education institutions.

K-State Innovation Partners is the office charged with facilitating university and industry engagements. Highly knowledgeable about the challenges and opportunities of the private sector, Innovation Partners works hand-in-hand with staff and faculty at the BRI to create productive, profitable agreements for both sides. 

Contact Rebecca Robinson, chief corporate engagement and economic development officer at K-State Innovation Partners, to begin exploring how K-State and the BRI can engage with your business in a strategic partnership at or call 785-532-3955.

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