The Institute is created on the strength of discovery, by Kansas State University scientists, of unique stem cells within the umbilical cord matrix of humans and several animal species. These cells have been shown to have remarkable adaptive capacity. Kansas State University has a patent pending on methods to harvest, grow and store umbilical cord matrix stem cells and the use of matrix cells for therapy, tissue engineering and biotechnology. This foundational research has identified, and stands to make available, a plentiful and potentially low cost source of stem cells that are extremely adaptable and free of ethical controversy. The institute connects this initial discovery with a strong array of related biotechnological research and development.
Thus the Institute, is well positioned to contribute to the development of important stem cell technologies and to participate in the economic benefits that will be associated with stem cell research and applications in animal agriculture and in human and animal medicine.
As of 2005, use-specific licenses have been awarded to two commercial entities, one in human medicine and one in equine medicine. In addition, one startup company has been initiated.