The Innovation Foundation at OSU releases plans for Innovation Park
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Innovation Foundation at Oklahoma State University has released a vision plan for a reimagined, 678-acre collaborative research park in southwest Stillwater.
The Innovation Park will be adjacent to the OSU Student Farm, Botanic Garden and the Ferguson College of Agriculture Agronomy Research Station. Formerly called The Oklahoma Technology and Research Park, The Innovation Park will connect these established facilities and serve as a crossroads for advancing OSU's land-grant mission through the pursuit of technology development and commercial partnerships.
“At Oklahoma State University, our commitment to our students, the state and the nation rests on some fundamental pillars, including our land-grant mission to serve and use our R1 research prowess to improve lives,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “The Innovation Park reflects our vision and commitment to our mission of serving the needs of Oklahoma and beyond. A big part of our We Are Land-Grant strategy is transdisciplinary research, as well as partnerships with industry and the community. As the state’s largest university system, we are excited about what’s possible with this project.”
Positioned as a welcoming gateway to the city of Stillwater from Highway 51, the park aims to cultivate public-private partnerships and engage the community and state as a centralized hub of innovation, education and collaboration.
This unique environment will encourage individuals to actively engage in tackling society’s most critical health, technology, energy and environmental challenges and leverage the talent of OSU’s applied research institutes — Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education, Human Performance and Nutrition Institute, Hamm Institute for American Energy and the National Center for Wellness and Recovery.
Elizabeth Pollard, executive director of The Innovation Foundation, said the park will spur innovation while also creating an environment that harmonizes technology, education and nature.
“The Innovation Park is a nexus of technology development, commercialization, partnerships, forward-thinking ideas and collaborative innovation,” she said. “Fusing OSU's land-grant mission with the ecosystem of the Student Farm and Botanic Garden, The Innovation Foundation is forging a transcendent path aimed at redefining typical boundaries and shifting the paradigm of education, discovery, agriculture, technology commercialization and art while seamlessly integrating the facets of OSU, the Stillwater community and the entire state of Oklahoma.”
Launched this fall, the Student Farm initiative allows students to gain hands-on expertise in land cultivation, crop growth and innovative approaches to overcoming challenges in produce distribution.
Led by Dr. Justin Quetone Moss, the Student Farm has already provided over 53,000 pounds of produce to Payne County through a partnership with Our Daily Bread Food and Resource Center. Rachel Condley, Our Daily Bread executive director, said these efforts have helped feed more than 5,000 families in just seven months.
“Having fresh produce from a local farm has allowed for our produce shelf life to be extended and has provided a unique partnership for our organizations,” Condley said. “In the past, we have been limited in the amount of quality, fresh produce we could provide to our guests. The Student Farm production has not only enabled us to provide more produce and a better selection to guests visiting the shopping floor at Our Daily Bread, but it has also empowered us to take produce to our Mobile Market outreach locations and our satellite sites. These locations had not had a consistent source of produce before the Student Farm began harvesting.”
Plans are in development to renovate the historic barn at the Student Farm while preserving its essential character. This renovation will allow the Student Farm to expand its impact through new educational opportunities and valuable nutrition resources, as well as research partnerships with HPNRI, the College of Education and Human Sciences, and OSU Agriculture focused on measuring community health outcomes.
The vision includes concepts for strategically placed collaboration centers throughout the park to nurture creativity, encourage transdisciplinary research and facilitate valuable commercial partnerships.
A proposed Analytical Solutions Center, equipped with a supercomputer and multiple data centers, would anchor the park. There are also plans in development for an Internet Exchange Point, which would attract tech partners, foster collaboration to enhance last-mile connectivity, enabling OSU to provide needed workforce training and virtual health care to rural areas across the state.
The campus also aims to expand university services to provide genomic analysis capabilities and a cutting-edge biorepository. This facility would efficiently store and manage biological samples from human, plant and animal specimens, ensuring optimal preservation for current and future research initiatives.
The Drone Education Center would actively engage visitors and OSU students in hands-on drone applications, promoting education and responsible usage in a contained area.
Nestled within OSU's Botanic Garden, the new 2,100-square-foot Horticulture Education Center will feature a spacious classroom and office space, offering publicly accessible opportunities for inspiration through unique interactions with nature. This facility is designed to advance sustainable practices, creating an eco-conscious environment for OSU, Stillwater and the surrounding communities.
A network of scenic trails, fitness locations, tree walk villages and family friendly amenities will connect the park and its centers. Complementing this natural tapestry, the trail system will incorporate STEM through AI-generated art displays with light and sound, seamlessly integrating the arts, nature and technology in an immersive showcase.
Eddy Crosby, OSU assistant vice president of strategic planning, believes the project will not only drive economic growth but also foster a spirit of shared responsibility and a stronger, more connected Stillwater.
“The Innovation Park will be a place where OSU’s esteemed faculty, industry partners and the community can get together, share knowledge and solve problems,” he said. “Applied interdisciplinary research will be at the forefront, working at the speed of industry, while connecting and aligning valuable resources.”