WASHINGTON – U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine was in Nebraska today to announce that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $750,000 grant to the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to create a biotechnology connector program that links the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and Invest Nebraska with the private sector’s Bio Nebraska. According to grantee estimates, 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,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Erskine. “The EDA grant announced today will help Nebraska leverage its strong agricultural sector into new innovative businesses and industries.”
“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 Daniel J. Duncan, Executive Director, Nebraska Innovation Campus.
EDA’s investment will help fund state-of-the-art research instrumentation and specialized equipment for wet laboratories. According to the grantee, 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.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (http://www.eda.gov) The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
About Nebraska Innovation Campus Nebraska Innovation Campus 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 http://www.innovate.unl.edu