Reflecting five years of momentum, Nebraska Innovation Campus was honored with the Emerging Research Park Award from the Association of University Research Parks on Oct. 11.
The award, among several of the association’s Awards of Excellence, is presented annually to a research park that has been in operation fewer than 10 years and excels in bringing technology from the laboratory to economically viable business activities, promoting business growth, jobs and public revenue.
Those considered for the award must also display participation in the university and federal lab community, a positive effect on university research funding and recruitment of superior students, faculty and researchers.
Dan Duncan, NIC’s executive director, thanked state lawmakers, private-sector collaborators and others whose early partnership has added critical momentum to the university’s work in attracting talent to the campus and growing the economy.
“We are deeply honored that AURP has selected Nebraska Innovation Campus for this prestigious award,” Duncan said. “Recognition by our peers is the ultimate compliment. We’re even more excited about what’s ahead for NIC. The opportunities for us to work with our partners to build a competitive economy for the state’s future have never been greater.”
NIC is currently home to a group of 30 partners, both private and public entities. Construction of the campus began in 2012 and within three years, 380,000 square feet of office, conference center, lab, pilot plant and greenhouse space was completed. Construction of a new 80,000-square-foot, multi-tenant building is also underway and is expected to be completed in summer 2018.
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.
AURP is a professional association of university-related research and science parks. The organization’s mission is to foster innovation, commercialization and economic growth through university, industry and government partnerships. NIC officials accepted the award at the association’s annual international conference in Huntsville, Alabama.