Nebraska Research and Innovation Conference is Tomorrow
Members of the media are invited to the sixth annual Nebraska Research and Innovation Conference, to be held tomorrow at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel, 333 S. 13th St. More than 460 people have registered for the conference, sponsored by the University of Nebraska, Nebraska EPSCoR and the National Science Foundation. The theme of the conference is renewable energy.

All three keynote speakers – Ray Orbach, director of the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute; Jan Koninckx, global business director at DuPont Biofuels; and Jim Walker, vice chairman of the board at enXco Inc. – will be available for interviews at the conference. To arrange an interview with these or other speakers, contact Melissa Lee at (402) 472-7127.

Nebraska EPSCoR has recently announced three major grants from the National Science Foundation. One, worth nearly $1.2 million, will expand Nebraska’s information highway. Another awards Nebraska $3.3 million to create and explore nanomaterials that could be used to improve energy efficiency.

The third grant, announced today, is worth $20 million and will fund collaborative economic development and research initiatives among seven Nebraska colleges and universities. The grant is the largest single research award Nebraska has received. The grant will fund two interdisciplinary centers: the Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials and the Nebraska Center for Algal Biology and Biotechnology. Algae holds great potential as an alternative energy source, but much more research is needed to fully leverage its potential.

An agenda for tomorrow’s conference is below. Media are asked to check in at the front desk upon arrival.

8:30 a.m.: Welcome from University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken
8:45 a.m.: Opening remarks from Gov. Dave Heineman
9 a.m.: Ray Orbach, “Our Sustainable Earth.”
9:45 a.m.: Jan Koninckx, “Growing a Renewable Economy: Sustainable Biofuels and Biomaterials.”
10:30 a.m.: Break
10:45 a.m.: Panel discussion on green jobs in Nebraska’s future
11:30 a.m.: Jim Walker, “Sustainable Innovation – It Starts in the States.”

Afternoon sessions include presentations on advances in wind, solar, algal, green chemistry/biomass and smart grid technologies.

For more information, visit

Contact: Melissa Lee
(402) 472-7127
(402) 580-3297 (cell)
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