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World-Herald editorial: Right vision for NU's Innovation Campus project

Innovation Campus is the University of Nebraska’s commendable effort to create a world-class scientific research park on the former Nebraska State Fairgrounds.

Rather than blindly copying what’s being done in, say, Massachusetts or North Carolina, Innovation Campus is rightly building on Nebraska’s proven strengths.

The point isn’t gargantuan size. Instead, it’s quality and specialization, using sound long-term planning and a phased approach to construction.

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Plans call for the Nebraska Innovation Campus to include more than 25 buildings when construction is complete more than two decades from now.

Innovation Campus adds three business partners

The market for crop imaging by drones was saturated, so Vishal Singh pivoted to using unmanned aerial vehicles in the beef industry.

Singh found a need to identify individual ailing cattle within a herd as a measure to improve food production and raise margins, so he experimented with fixing a thermal imaging camera to a drone to look for changes in temperature in the animals.

That idea, too, had trouble getting off the ground.

“The problem, of course, is that the cattle don’t hold still for you,” Singh said.

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Construction continues on the Greenhouse Innovation Center at Nebraska Innovation Campus on Tuesday, when UNL officials announced three new campus tenants.

Nebraska Innovation Campus announces 3 new partners

Nebraska Innovation Campus has announced three new partners. Dan Duncan, executive director of NIC, said Hastings HVAC, Echo Canyon Services and Quantified Ag would move into space on campus later this year.

“NIC and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln welcome these three companies and are excited about the culture and innovation they bring in becoming our partners,” Duncan said.

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Nebraska Innovation Campus announces 3 new partners

Nebraska Innovation Campus ahead of its timetable for completion

By Natasha Rausch / World-Herald bureau

LINCOLN — The former State Fair Park is gone. In its place sits three state-of-the-art buildings that mark a new era of engineering and science at the Nebraska Innovation Campus, where private and public sectors will combine to create new technology near the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Construction began in 2013, and now the campus has 380,000 of the 2.2 million square feet covered, with $120 million spent.

Executive Director Dan Duncan said the goal is to have the project completed by 2038.

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Plans call for the Nebraska Innovation Campus to include more than 25 buildings when construction is complete more than two decades from now.

UNL network guides tech from campus to market

Publishing results in an academic journal or presenting them at a national conference represents a finish line for many researchers. For those looking to transfer their work from public institution to private industry, however, this finish line becomes a starting point.

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Ryan Anderson, Dan Duncan and Bradley Roth pose in the lobby of Nebraska Innovation Campus’ offices. The trio leads a campus network that helps UNL researchers commercialize their work.

'Making for Innovation' will be first class at NIC

A new course will allow up to 30 students to get hands-on experience and help launch the UNL Maker Space in the spring semester.

The course, "Making for Innovation," will be the first to meet at Nebraska Innovation Studio — formerly the UNL Maker Space — on Nebraska Innovation Campus. Shane Farritor, professor of mechanical and materials engineering, and Liana Owad, Maker Space coordinator, will guide the class.

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The first floor of the Innovation Commons building will be home to the Nebraska Innovation Studio. The studio will be a makerspace designed to encourage interactions between students during creative and building processes.

A new course offered at Nebraska Innovation Studio on Nebraska Innovation Campus

This spring semester, Shane Farritor, PhD and Liana Owad, MFA will be teaching “Making for Innovation” which will cover techniques used to bring ideas to reality. This will be the first class to meet at Nebraska Innovation Studio – the UNL makerspace – located on Nebraska Innovation Campus.

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Making for Innovation

At The College, Toilets and Showers Are Unexpected Sources of Energy

While some might not be thrilled to discover their neighbor is home to sewage, engineers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln saw it differently—as an opportunity to repurpose the city’s wastewater into a source of renewable energy.

With plans under way to turn Nebraska’s state fairgrounds into the university’s new Nebraska Innovation Campus, engineers realized the construction site was sitting next to prime real estate: the city’s wastewater plant.

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The University of Nebraska's Nebraska Innovation Campus harnesses wastewater to keep students warm.

UNL to sublease space at Innovation Campus

Nebraska Innovation Campus could move closer to independence when the University of Nebraska Board of Regents considers giving the research and development park more authority over its operations.

Regents are set to consider allowing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to approve subleases within its master-leased areas of Innovation Campus, as well as add structures to the terms of directors overseeing campus operations.

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Construction continues on the east side of the Food Innovation Center at Nebraska Innovation Campus. Work continues to transform the former Industrial Arts Building into greenhouse and office space.

City, UNL partner to create unique renewable energy system at NIC

Through a unique renewable energy system, UNL students and Lincoln residents help provide energy to heat and cool Nebraska Innovation Campus when they shower and flush.

The Centralized Renewable Energy System, or CRES, warms and cools buildings by exchanging heat from treated wastewater discharged from a city facility next to the research park.

Sustainable energy strategies are an important part of Nebraska Innovation Campus' value proposition, NIC executive director Dan Duncan said.

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Innovation Commons on UNL's Nebraska Innovation Campus. The university has teamed with the City of Lincoln to create a system that warms and cools NIC buildings by exchanging heat from treated wastewater.

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