The third annual progress report on the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Big 5 initiatives keeps attention on four continuing projects but doesn’t include a new fifth one.
The chamber says it continues to make progress in four of the efforts that began in 2011, including improving the area’s status as a medical research center and redeveloping a specific midtown neighborhood.
One of the initial Big 5 goals — to establish the metro area as a global center of animal health activity — was declared met last year.
The initiatives and progress highlights include:
The University of Kansas Cancer Center got National Cancer Institute designation and is working toward “comprehensive cancer care” status. Also, KU Med and other regional health partners are springboarding from a $20 million federal grant to collaborate on Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
The Urban Neighborhood Initiative Inc. is working with the Kansas City School District on a new charter school idea, with Purpose Built Communities to develop mixed housing, with Truman Medical Centers to develop a grocery store at 27th and Troost, and with other organizations to provide other employment, housing, family assistance and education services.
The UMKC Downtown Campus for the Arts, planned to house the university’s music and dance departments and possibly its theater, radio broadcast, and other arts programs, has obtained land donated at Broadway and 17th Street and is working on a campaign to raise $48 million by 2015, led by a $20 million challenge grant from Julia Irene Kauffman.
The initiative to use the area’s entrepreneurism resources marked successes in corporate sponsorship of the Sprint Accelerator, the Digital Sandbox Innovation Showcase, the Corporate Startup Collaborative, KCSourceLink, Athena League, the Urban Business Growth Initiative, the iKC UnConference, the We Create Kansas City campaign and other activities. Efforts continue to build a “more networked capital structure for all levels of entrepreneurship.”