Initiative Expected to Create Over 100 New Jobs Locally and Propel Community to Forefront of Spatial Computing Industry
Los Angeles, CA- (August 22, 2023)- Pure Imagination Studios, the award-winning independent entertainment studio best known for combining proprietary technology with groundbreaking storytelling, is partnering with Kansas State University Salina, Salina Airport Authority, and the State of Kansas with a $41 million advanced spatial computing studio and learning center. This marks the largest investment in the Salina campus infrastructure, to date.
The studio and learning center at Kansas State University’s Salina Campus, which will be built by Pure Imagination Labs, will be named the Kansas Advanced Immersive Research for Emerging Systems (K-AIRES). It will feature state-of-the-art equipment and immersive technologies that will enable the studio to transform the educational experience and establish new frontiers in aerospace, simulation, defense training, education, entertainment and immersive storytelling, manufacturing and other domains.
The studio will add a 3 story, approximately 55,000 square foot new facility to the existing campus, located at K-State Salina. The new investment will create an estimated 100 new jobs in Salina, along with approximately 150 construction jobs to complete the studio. Construction begins late Fall 2023.
Joshua Wexler, founder, Pure Imagination, remarked: “We are establishing the world’s first of its kind spatial computing studio and training facility. It is an innovation hub at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. Our mission is to ignite visionary storytellers spanning diverse sectors. Together, we aspire to reshape the narrative of human progress, leaving an indelible legacy of positive change. This transformative technology is set to revolutionize every facet of industry, from education and storytelling to public safety. The choice to anchor the studio at K-State Salina stems from the institution’s thriving ecosystem and the state’s resolute commitment to challenging the status quo. This partnership stands as an investment in the local community and economy with the potential to propel Kansas to the forefront of the spatial computing industry.”
“K-AIRES brings world-leading simulation and artificial intelligence capabilities to the major industry sectors of Kansas, with a heightened focus on aerospace, advanced manufacturing, and defense,” said Dr. Alysia Starkey, CEO and Dean, K-State Salina. “Once complete, this facility will provide exciting and engaging ways to educate and train students in the enabling technologies of the future. The foundational components of this facility will allow faculty and researchers to leverage immersive environments to reimagine what 21st-century education should be: the hands-on application of embedded industry projects with collaborative, multidisciplinary problem-solving driving the learning experience. Large-scale research grants, sponsored research projects, and targeted industry partnerships will support the growth of local and state workforce and economic development.”
“K-AIRES shows the benefits of combining two of Kansas’ greatest resources – our universities and pro-business economy – to better prepare our students to join the modern workforce,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This partnership is creating more of the high-tech jobs and exciting opportunities that will keep more of our graduates right here in Kansas.”
“Pure Imagination’s selection of Kansas shows that our state’s investment in talent and leveraging higher education to support economic development, is working,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “By following the Kansas Framework for Growth, our state’s economic development strategic plan, and pulling every lever we’ve got, we are creating ‘knowledge jobs’ right here in rural communities like Salina.”
View full announcement here.
About Pure Imagination Studios
Pure Imagination is an award-winning independent studio pioneering the next generation of storytelling. Founded in 2012, the studio produces content by combining proprietary technology with groundbreaking storytelling for audiences of all ages across multiple platforms. Led by Pure Imagination founder Joshua Wexler, the studio’s team of writers, artists, directors, designers, storytellers, producers, scientists and experiential engineers have partnered with clients who are home to some of the most popular entertainment brands in the world. Their portfolio of projects have expanded fan engagement on multiple platforms for clients including DreamWorks, Disney, FOX, The LEGO Group, Marvel Entertainment, DC Entertainment, Merlin, Netflix, Rovio, Six Flags, Warner Bros. and others. Projects include a diverse slate of animated television shows and specials including the recently released animated series LEGO Dreamzzz on Netflix, Amazon, Peacock and Youtube, and Disney Princesses: Castle Quest on Disney+, theme park attractions, movies, immersive experiences, and virtual and augmented reality, including the groundbreaking Alien Descent VR experience and Army of the Dead: Viva Las Vengeance (Netflix) VR experience. Pure Imagination is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Visit: www.pistudios.com
About Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus
Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus is home to one of the nine colleges of Kansas State University. The mission of this niche campus is to develop global leaders and foster innovation and talent development in aerospace, technology, and the specific needs of the region. Based in Salina, Kansas, the campus leverages its location within the Salina Airport Industrial Center to enhance the student experience with applied and intentional industry-supported learning experiences. The campus offers associate, bachelor’s, and graduate certificates and degrees and supports a robust portfolio of upskilling opportunities for working professionals.