Nebraska innovation event March 29-30 to highlight research, business connections
Lincoln, Neb., March 2, 2006 -- Nebraska EPSCoR at the University of Nebraska will showcase and assist science and technology researchers and innovative businesses at a two-day Nebraska Research Expo and Innovation Forum March 29-30 at the Cornhusker Marriot Hotel in Lincoln.

EPSCoR, which stands for Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, is a federal program designed to increase research infrastructure and capacity in states like Nebraska.

Nebraska EPSCoR is a statewide program that assists Nebraska educational institutions in enhancing their science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and biomedical research; helps educational infrastructures increase research and development competitiveness; and fosters economic development through support of technology transfer. The major recipients of Nebraska EPSCoR research grants are the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University.

Registration for both events is free but required to attend. The registration deadline for the Research Expo is March 17 online at epscor.unl.edu/events/researchexpo.shtml and the deadline for the Innovation Forum is March 22, online at http://espcor.unl.edu/events/innovationforum.shtml.

The first-day event March 29 is the second annual Nebraska Research Expo, where researchers will showcase developments supported by past and present National Science Foundation EPSCoR Infrastructure Improvement grants. Full-day sessions will highlight integrated structural biology and bioinformatics, bridge engineering and metabolite signaling. Half-day session topics include nanoscale and nanostructured semiconductors, wireless networks and distributed sensors, nanomanufacturing engineering, basic biological research on aging and longevity, biosensors and networks, and genome-wide gene regulatory networks.

Fred Choobineh, Nebraska EPSCoR director, said the March 29 expo will highlight research and development opportunities for businesses and ideas for future collaboration between university researchers and those in Nebraska and beyond.

“We are pleased to be a facilitator and provide a venue for businesses and scientists in the state to exchange ideas and form partnerships,” Choobineh said.

Speakers March 29 are Sherry Farwell, NSF EPSCOR head, as well as specialists on metabolite signaling including researchers from Iowa State University, Purdue University, University of North Carolina, Georgia Institute of Technology, Wake Forest University and UNL.

For the first time in conjunction with the research event, the Nebraska Innovation Forum will follow on March 30, spearheaded by Pete Kotsiopulos, vice president for University Affairs at the University of Nebraska. In addition to Nebraska EPSCoR and the University of Nebraska, the Innovation Forum is sponsored by Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Midlands Venture Forum, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and the Nebraska Economic Development Association.

Speakers are University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken, Dan Berglund, President and CEO, State Science and Technology Institute; Martha Connolly, Director, Maryland Industrial Partnerships at the University of Maryland; Tom Walker, COO and Executive Vice President, Oklahoma Technology Commercialization Center, and Joe Panetta, President and CEO of BIOCOM.

Kotsiopulos will moderate a panel at 11 a.m. March 30 on higher education including John Brasch, associate vice chancellor for technology development at UNL; Winnie Callahan, director of the Peter Kiewit Institute; Thomas McDonald, director of UNeMED Corp., and Kim Galt, associate dean for research at Creighton University.

"This is a new opportunity for Nebraska’s policymakers, business leaders and higher education leaders to come together, learn about economic development activities around the country, consider opportunities that exist for Nebraska to develop its niche areas, and create new partnerships, new jobs and improve the economic prosperity of our state,” Kotsiopulos said.

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