The Johnson County Education and Research Triangle (JCERT) is a visionary community and academic partnership designed to define the region as a innovator of research, science and technology.
A life science and technology hub
The idea for JCERT was proposed in 2007 by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the Johnson County Education Research Triangle Advisory Council. In November 2008, voters approved a 1/8-cent sales tax without an expiration date.
The tax is estimated to bring in about $5 million annually for each of three university-backed entities. All revenues collected by the tax can be used only at the universities' Johnson County locations.
The Johnson County Education Research Triangle Authority oversees the funds. The JCERT Authority board conducts audits and yearly reports and ensures that the use of public funds complies with state and local law. The board is composed of seven elected officials from Johnson County appointed to four-year terms. Board meetings and records are subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act and the Kansas Open Records Act.
The Johnson County Research and Education Triangle sales tax generates an estimated $15 million a year, divided equally among these three projects:
University of Kansas Clinical Research Center: The Hall Family Foundation purchased and donated an office building at 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Fairway for the $25 million project that houses a research enterprise for clinical trials designed to speed promising new drugs from the lab to the market. The center opened in January 2012.
K-State's International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute: The $28 million facility at 22201 W. Innovation Drive in the Kansas Bioscience Park in Olathe opened April 26, 2011. It is home to scientists researching animal health, food safety and security, and to students seeking master's and doctoral degrees in those fields.
University of Kansas Business, Engineering, Science and Technology Center: The $23 million project at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park, 12600 Quivira Road, expands the high-tech undergraduate and graduate options for students in these four disciplines. Classes began in 2012.