KSU Salina Secures $40 Million for Spatial Computing Studio, Generating 100 High-Earning Jobs

KSU Salina Secures $40 Million for Spatial Computing Studio, Generating 100 High-Earning Jobs
K-State President Richard Linton

In collaboration with Pure Imagination Studios, the Salina Airport Authority, and the state of Kansas, Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus is poised to pioneer a groundbreaking $41 million spatial computing studio and learning center known as the Kansas Advanced Immersive Research for Emerging Systems (K-AIRES). This ambitious initiative represents the most substantial investment in the campus's infrastructure to date, featuring a forthcoming three-story, state-of-the-art 55,000-square-foot facility. Anticipated to usher in over 100 high-quality jobs to Salina, this project is set to position the community at the forefront of the spatial computing industry.

When speaking to Kansas State Senator J.R. Claeys he extrapolated how this funding was found and what it means to the City of Salina. Claeys emphasized, "The $40 million allocated for the construction of the K-AIRES Center on the Kansas State University Salina campus wasn't a last-minute decision made during a budget conference committee. It was a result of months of dedicated effort. Many individuals worked tirelessly to bring these high-paying jobs to Salina and the State of Kansas."

Secretary of Commerce David Toland attested, "Senator Claeys visited my office numerous times, and our phones rang at all hours, demonstrating our commitment to making this project a reality."

The K-State Salina studio and learning center will be equipped with cutting-edge technology, poised to revolutionize educational experiences and spearhead new frontiers. Faculty and researchers will harness immersive environments to redefine 21st-century education, emphasizing hands-on application of industry projects and multidisciplinary problem-solving to elevate the learning experience.

Alysia Starkey, K-State CEO, and dean underscore that K-AIRES will deliver top-tier simulation and artificial intelligence capabilities to key Kansas sectors, with a particular focus on aerospace, advanced manufacturing, and defense. The facility is expected to serve as a catalyst for education, research, industry partnerships, workforce development and nurturing local and state economic growth.

Spatial computing, encompassing augmented reality, mixed reality, and virtual reality simulations, is poised to revolutionize an array of industries, spanning from education to public safety. Joshua Wexler, co-founder of Pure Imagination Studios, emphasizes the selection of K-State Salina as the anchor for this visionary project, citing the institution's vibrant ecosystem and the state's unwavering commitment to innovation. This partnership not only signifies an investment in the local community and economy but also positions Kansas as a vanguard in the spatial computing industry.

Pure Imagination Studios, renowned for its pioneering storytelling and cutting-edge technology, boasts a track record of collaboration with major entertainment studios, including DreamWorks, FOX, Netflix, Marvel Entertainment, and Warner Bros.

Pure Imagination Army of the Dead Demonstrator

Wexler's vision for this endeavor is crystal clear: the establishment of the world's inaugural spatial computing studio and training facility, destined to be an epicenter of innovation at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. Together, their ambition is to reshape the narrative of human progress, leaving an enduring legacy of positive transformation.

The construction of this groundbreaking facility is scheduled to commence in late fall 2023.

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