First Nebraska research expo April 20 in Omaha
Lincoln, Neb., April 7, 2005 – The first Nebraska EPSCoR Research Expo April 20 at Omaha\'s Qwest Center will highlight economic development through university-industry partnerships, and elaborate on Nebraska university research initiatives such as bioinformatics, nutritional genomics, cell biology, nanomaterials and wireless communication.

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 with four major partners: the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University.

Speakers at the daylong event include Karen Sandberg, National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program Director, Howard Van Auken, professor of management at Iowa State University; Ernie Goss, Jack MacAllister chair in regional economics at Creighton University; Scott Page, professor of complex systems, political science and economics at University of Michigan; and David Roessner, Associate director of SRI International and professor of public policy emeritus at Georgia Institute of Technology. The main speakers will present in the morning beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed with lunch, then parallel sessions in the afternoon. Poster sessions and reception will be held from 4:30-7 p.m.

Fred Choobineh, Nebraska EPSCoR director, said the expo will highlight research and development opportunities for businesses and ideas for future collaboration between university researchers and those in Nebraska and beyond. The conference will alternate annually between Lincoln and Omaha, he said.

"It's an opportunity to showcase some exciting new research and for businesses to find potential partners," he said. "For any company interested in research and development or contemplating new R & D, it's worth their while to attend because there are so many opportunities for collaboration."

EPSCoR's first major funding was received from the National Science Foundation in 1993; since then, Nebraska institutions have attracted more than $110 million to support research. Projects are to enhance and sustain research in four general clusters -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, EPSCoR works to enhance Nebraska's competitiveness in research in biomedical sciences, promote collaboration among state institutions and researchers, increase diversity among students and researchers, provide seed funding and facilitate knowledge and technology transfer to industry. In 2004, the four Nebraska universities received a combined $9 million in NSF funding to research nutritional genomics, cell biology, nanomaterials and mobile computing.

Choobineh said the research projects presented in the afternoon sessions at the Expo will primarily be those funded by the 2004 grant. Twenty-two distinguished researchers will give presentations ranging from "Intrinsic Disorder and Protein Function" to "Hypothalamic Mechanisms Linking Obesity to Type 2 Diabetes" and "Biomedical Applications of Fluorescence Imaging."

The morning plenary session is chaired by Jay Noren, executive vice president and provost of the University of Nebraska, and focuses on economic development through university-industry partnerships. Detailed information on researchers and abstracts, and online registration is available at http://epscor.unl.edu/events/researchexpo.shtml. The business display and registration deadline has been extended to April 15.

Nebraska EPSCoR is administered by the University of Nebraska Central Administration.

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