U.S. EDA grant will boost Nebraska Innovation Campus, biotech startups

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U.S. EDA grant will boost Nebraska Innovation Campus, biotech startups

by EDA

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine was in Nebraska on Sept. 23 to announce that the Economic Development Administration is awarding $750,000 grant to UNL to create a biotechnology connector program that links the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and Invest Nebraska with the private sector’s Bio Nebraska.

The program is expected to serve eight startup biotechnology companies each year over the next nine years.

“Supporting innovation and cluster development is crucial to competitiveness in the global economy and is a major focus for the Department of Commerce and EDA,” Erskine said. “The EDA grant … will help Nebraska leverage its strong agricultural sector into new innovative businesses and industries.”

EDA’s investment will help fund state-of-the-art research instrumentation and specialized equipment for wet laboratories. The Biotech Connecter program will fill a critical gap in Nebraska’s industry and research community and will enable members of industry and academia to initiate new ventures that will help retain Nebraska-based technology within state lines, spurring wage and job growth.

“The need for wet lab space in the area has been an identified need for several years. We are very appreciative that EDA has chosen to partner with us to help close this need,” said Dan Duncan, executive director of Nebraska Innovation Campus.

NIC is a research campus designed to facilitate new and in-depth partnerships between the university and private sector businesses. At full build-out, NIC will be a 2.2-million square-foot campus with uniquely designed buildings and amenities that inspire creative activity and engagement, transforming ideas into global innovation. For more information, visit www.innovate.unl.edu.

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