MANHATTAN, Kan. — Topcon Agriculture and Kansas State University on Thursday announced a comprehensive partnership that establishes the new Topcon Agriculture Research Campus in the K-State Office Park, 1880 Kimball Ave. The campus will promote collaboration and engagement with students and faculty, boost the company's research capacity as it develops new products, and solidify connections with producers through K-State Research and Extension.
"This strategic partnership will boost our R&D technology advancement to accelerate the commercialization of farmer-driven innovation," said Fabio Isaia, CEO of Topcon Agriculture.
Topcon Agriculture recently signed a master research agreement with Kansas State University to develop tools and systems to advance precision agriculture, but the company saw larger possibilities in an expanded collaboration facilitated by the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization.
The new research campus includes new equipment to train faculty, students and customers to incorporate technology into farming and other agricultural practices. The company is also donating technology infrastructure improvements and equipment to the university's Agronomy North Farm and will streamline access to future upgrades.
"Kansas is a unique state as it has striking variations in environmental conditions," said Brian Sorbe, Topcon Agriculture North America vice president of sales and marketing. "The highly variable soil and rainfall patterns across the state allow it to emulate multiple types of growing environments. This makes Kansas ideal for conducting precision agriculture research to develop products for the entire country."
Working with K-State Research and Extension, Topcon Agriculture will have a streamlined pathway from concept, creation to on-farm use and education.
Co-location with the university helps Topcon Agriculture recruit students and graduates to work for the company in the U.S. or abroad. It also demonstrates the success of area efforts to bring knowledge-based jobs and growth to the local economy. Beyond Manhattan, partnership with Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus and K-State Research and Extension will help Topcon Agriculture conduct on-farm research around the state.