Dates set for Innovation Week; Awards planned for Feb. 10

Innovation Week, News

OMAHA, Nebraska (January 31, 2022)—Innovation Week 2021 will begin next week following a four-month postponement due to the pandemic.

Sponsored by UNeMed, the technology transfer and commercialization office for UNMC and UNO, Innovation Week is a series of events meant to celebrate and encourage innovation and discovery on Omaha campuses. The week culminates with the Innovation Awards, which honors all UNMC and UNO faculty, students and staff who contributed to a new invention, received a U.S. patent or had a technology successfully licensed during the previous fiscal year.

Like last year, the Innovation Awards—and all other Innovation Week events—will be hosted via Zoom. The awards ceremony is planned for Thursday, Feb. 10, at noon. The hour-long program will announce the Most Promising New Invention of the Year, the Startup of the Year and the Innovator of the Year.

Anyone can log into the Awards ceremony at

Innovation Week begins on Monday, Feb. 7, at noon with a panel discussion on local resources available for 3D modeling and making prototypes. Members of the panel group will include Brian Maass, the digital technologies librarian at the Leon S. McGoogan Health Science Library; Noah Wester, 3D modeling technician at UNeTech Institute, the University startup incubator; Bethany Lowndes, PhD, an Assistant Professor in Neurological Sciences and a member of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR core facility; and Brian Knarr, an Associate Professor and Director of the Machining and Prototyping Core at UNO Biomechanics.

Anyone can log into the prototyping panel discussion at

Innovation Week continues on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at noon with a second panel group that will discuss what it takes to build a startup company around a new invention. Members of that panel group will include James Hermsen, a local entrepreneur and co-founder of Suh-Hermsen Glasses; Doug Miller, CEO and founder of Impower Health; Abbie Raikes, PhD, CEO and founder of ECD Measure; and Jason Johanning, MD, founder of FutureAssure.

Anyone can log into the startup panel discussion at

A third and final panel discussion is planned for the following day, Wednesday, Feb. 9, at noon. This panel will discuss various resources available to fresh startup companies and aspiring entrepreneurs. This panel will feature Josh Nichol-Caddy, the Technology Commercialization Director at the Nebraska Business Development Center; Jace Gatzemeyer, innovation development strategist at UNeTech; Joy Eakin, Entrepreneurship Program Manager at NUtech Ventures; Matt Foley, Program Director at Invest Nebraska; and Megan Varnum, principal consultant at BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting.

Anyone can log into the final panel discussion at

Innovation Week concludes the following day with the Innovation Awards at noon on Thursday, Feb. 10.

All events are free and open to all. More information, including any potential itinerary changes or updates, can be found at

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