OMAHA, Neb. — The University of Nebraska’s Omaha campuses are opening a new institute to create businesses out of academic ideas.
UNeTech is a partnership between the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
The partnership’s executive director Dr. Rod Markin said UNeTech will be part of a way to encourage faculty and staff from the universities to turn their ideas into marketable products and services, as well as create businesses and jobs.
“If we can create this ecosystem, then keeping companies here in Nebraska, employees in Nebraska, is going to be a lot easier,” Markin said. “If we have that, folks are going to gravitate to where the ecosystem is so they can grow up in it.”
UNeTech, which was approved in 2015 by the NU Board of Regents, will help organize and fund startups. The program is seeking between $7 million and $10 million from individuals and outside agencies to invest in the fledgling companies.
The Nebraska Legislature allocated $1 million a year toward the facility’s operating expenses.
While Markin said his focus has been on biomedical technology, UNeTech is open to any university-related concept.
The institute will provide space for as many as a dozen new companies at a time, with offices and a laboratory-workshop area in the building. Three companies are expected to move in to UNeTech’s building by next month.
The goal of the institute over the next five years is to evaluate at least 50 technologies from UNO and UNMC with business potential, turn 10 of them into startup companies and create at least 50 jobs.