NIC was proud to announce ConAgra Foods as the first corporate partner. The major announcement revealed a new level of collaboration between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and ConAgra Foods.
The collaboration continues and accelerates research and development projects at NIC. Through the collaboration ConAgra Foods hopes to foster a culture of innovation related to food science. For example, the collaboration will help to further understanding and knowledge related to popcorn and tomato breeding and research. Alongside university students and faculty, ConAgra Foods will leverage leased space in greenhouses at Nebraska Innovation Campus, where it will grow and research tomatoes, such as those used in Hunt's and Ro*Tel brands. ConAgra Foods also will continue its research on popcorn at the university. The company expects to harvest more than 100 million pounds of Nebraska-grown popcorn this year alone, which is used in Orville Redenbacher's and ACT II popcorn.
The company also hopes the collaboration will create education and development opportunities for students as they further explore the possibility for research in emerging food safety practices and microbiology, robotics and their application in food commercialization.