Nanotechnology in Nebraska, USA: Market Report

Nebraska is located on the Great Plains in the United States Midwest. It covers a total area of 200,520 km2 and has a population of 1,842,641 as of 2011.

The key economic sectors in Nebraska include telecommunications, manufacturing, insurance, freight transport, information technology and agriculture. The state’s 2010 GSP was $89.8 billion.

Batelle TPP reported in July 2010 that Nebraska had weathered the recession much better than many other US states with an unemployment rate of 4.7%, less than half the national average of 9.5%. Forbes rated Nebraska as one of the Top 10 "Best States for Business", while it rated in the top 10 states, "Where Struggling Americans Can Find a Fresh Start" according to Business Week.

After having identified technology-based innovation and highly skilled talent as drivers for industry and competitiveness, Nebraska have taken positive steps to ensure that that they maintain their leadership role. In doing so, they have rolled out initiatives to drive economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurialism.

The Talent and Innovation Initiative (TI2) was introduced and consists of 4 components that are now all in play:

  1. The InternNE Program - Provides financial assistance for companies in targeted industries to create internships for college students
  2. The Business Innovation Act - Provides funding for research, development and innovation to help small businesses expand and create more job opportunities
  3. Angel Investment Tax Credit - Provides generous tax credits to encourage high-tech start-up enterprises in Nebraska
  4. Site Building and Development - Aims to increase industrial sites and buildings available for business attraction and expansion

Nanotechnology Organizations

A brief introduction to the key nanotechnology-related organizations in Nebraska are provided below:

Nutech Ventures: Enables their industrial partners to collaborate with researchers from the University of Nebraska in order to develop new products and solve various research challenges. Inventors and entrepreneurs collaborate with researchers who have the potential to develop new and advanced technologies. Nutech Ventures supports research on nanomagnetism.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

Some of the leading academic institutes in Nebraska offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:

University of Nebraska Medical Center: Promotes nanotechnology-based research through the following research center:

  • Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine (CDDN): Offers a certificate program in ‘Nanomedicine for Diagnosis and Therapy’. CDDN brings together scientific and technical expertise in material and biomedical science research to create an interdisciplinary drug delivery and nanomedicine program.
    CDDN aims at improving heath conditions by enhancing the safety of diagnostic agents, therapeutic agents and genes through the discovery and application of innovative methods of drug delivery and nanotechnology.

University of Nebraska: Promotes nanotechnology-based research through the following research centers:

  • Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience - Offers research opportunities in the areas of:
    • Atomic manipulation
    • Properties affected by nanoscale dimensions
    • Self-assembly
    • Ordered nanoarrays
    • Quantum dots and wires
    • Nanoelectronics
    • Quantum computing
    • Nanomechanics
    • Nanooptics
    • Nanoelectromechanical systems
    • Nanobiological function and life science
    • Molecular design
  • Materials Research Science and Engineering Center - The center’s current nanotech-based research areas include:
    • Nanoscale spin-polarized matter by design
    • Room-temperature ferromagnetic polymers with nanoscale phase separation and spin transport in the nanodomains
    • Study and control of intrinsic magnetization at the boundary of a magnetoelectric for electrically switchable magnetic nanostructures
  • NCMN Nanofabrication Central Facility - Provides state-of-the-art instrument for fabricating, designing, testing and characterizing of nano/micro-scale devices and materials. This facility is open to researchers from the University of Nebraska as well as researchers from other private sectors. These researchers work on projects in areas that include nano/microelectronics, chemistry, nano-bio, physics, MEMs/NEMs.

Recent Developments

Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have developed nanomedicines for HIV infection. These newly developed antiretroviral therapy (ART) nanomedicines are long-acting and were successfully used on mice. Discoveries like these highlight the talent available in Nebraska.

In 2008 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Materials research Science and Engineering Center received $8.1m in finding from the National Science Foundation to continue research through to 2014. The following year the Center for Materials and Nanoscience shared a $4.5m grant from the US Department of Energy to fund the development of better ways to power hybrid cars, wind turbines and computer discs.

In the business Facilities 2012 Rankings Report, Nebraska rated 2nd in Biofuels Leaders, 3rd in Biotechnology Strength Specialization Leaders and 8th in Biotechnology Strength Emerging Biotech Hubs. It also continues to rank highly for economic innovation and growth and has also won other accolades for business, employment and lifestyle. While commercial and industrial nanotech activity in Nebraska is yet to take off, there appears to be a number of areas where nanotechnology could establish itself.

Sources and Further Reading


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