Grants available for new technology development


Learn about the Nebraska Business Development Act, how to gain access to ‘valley of death’ funding

A panel of experts will break down the several benefits and uses of key provisions of Nebraska’s Business Innovation Act for academic researchers and faculty.

Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon, Ph.D.

“We’re advising all University inventors to sit in on this one,” said Michael Dixon, Ph.D., President and CEO at UNeMed, the technology transfer and commercialization office for UNMC and UNO. “I think they’ll find that the state is quite interested in helping to support start-up companies developing University technology, as well as established Nebraska companies that are doing research and development with the University.  This webinar will help researchers understand how to gain access to this critical “valley of death” funding.”

The “valley of death” refers to the funding gap into which most academic innovations fall. The vast majority of academic discoveries and innovations are initially supported through generous federal grant programs. However, most of those discoveries falter or stagnate because few programs provide the necessary and significant amounts of additional resources needed for further development. Among the few “gap” or “valley of death” programs is Nebraska’s Business Innovation Act of 2011.

The Business Innovation Act established a raft of financial and technical supports intended to promote both startup growth and University-Industry research collaborations within the state. Nebraska’s Department of Economic Development—which manages most of those funding programs—will host the upcoming free webinar. Their funding programs help pay for research and development; support collaborations with Nebraska businesses; match federal funding from the SBIR/STTR programs; fund prototype development; and help commercialize new innovations.

The webinar is planned for Thursday, April 29 at 1:30 p.m. The event is free, but registration with a university email address is required. Register online at:

Dr. Dixon will be among four panelists during the event. Business innovation consultants from the DED, Ben Kuspa and Nisha Avey, will also be on the panel. They will be joined by Ryan Anderson, the Director of Industry Relations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The emcee and Q&A facilitator will be Sara Bennett, Associate Director of the Nebraska Business Development Center.

Planned areas of discussion include:

  • Business Innovation Act grant and investment programs
  • Nebraska Academic Research Program
  • SBIR/STTR matching program
  • Upcoming program changes for 2022
  • How to utilize the program
  • NU Connections can help your business

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