Nebraska Innovation Campus


Date of this Version


Document Type



U.S. Senator Mike Johanns, Weekly Column, August 18, 2014 ( p=WeeklyColumn&ContentRecord_id=3fa82646-26ce-4b84-b33b-b0a5fc4e7fb3&ContentType_id=fdd4e816-234d-4825-b703-ea582a48faea)


© 2020 Nebraska Innovation Campus


Throughout the years, the University of Nebraska (NU) System has transformed and adapted to meet the ever-changing needs of our state. It continues to innovate and adapt to new technologies, ensuring our students receive a quality education while providing top-tier research for the nation. Part of that evolution is the Nebraska Innovation Campus(NIC) that will bring new opportunities to our students and state. I enjoyed touring the new facility this month with Chancellor Harvey Perlman and NIC’s Executive Director Dan Duncan. Still in its first phase of construction, the impressive facility is a research campus designed to facilitate new and more in-depth partnerships between the University and the private sector. NIC is being built on the former Nebraska State Fairgrounds. The first stage of construction includes the renovation of the 4-H building. The building is being repurposed to serve as a multi-functional meeting space, including a 400-seatauditorium, a 400-seat banquet room and several smaller rooms for breakout sessions, but the architecture and features of this iconic building – both inside and out – still stand strong.While the building’s original purpose has changed, its new occupants will protect and preserve this great cultural landmark for many years to come. As I was visiting the facility, NICofficials were also preparing to move into their new, state-of-the-art office space nearby. In addition to the conference center, the campus will eventually be home to a wet lab, a food processing pilot plant and a greenhouse complex. A number of private companies are in conversations with NIC about partnerships. Con Agra will move in next year, beginning the public-private partnerships. The campus will also include a business accelerator to help small business owners expand their operations. The partnerships are intended to pursue the mission of providing a “dynamic environment where university and private sector talent transform ideas into innovation that impacts the world.”