1135 M Street, Suite 200 Lincoln, NE 68508
The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development has participated in organizing a new industry group in Lincoln. Innovation Connect is an industry led effort to initiate collaboration between businesses and university researchers.
Three Lincoln manufacturing and engineering related businesses began meeting with representatives from the Partnership, UNL Office of Research and NUtech Ventures in mid-2010. Industry organizers of the group included Bison, SourceOne, Lincoln Industries and Duncan Aviation. This organizing committee grew into Innovation Connect – which its first meeting in December of 2010.
Innovation Connect meetings are held at a local manufacturer for lunch; and each meeting features a facility tour from industry and a presentation from a UNL researcher. Past event hosts have included Duncan Aviation, SourceOne, TMCO and Lincoln Industries. University speakers have included Dr. Shane Farritor (a professor and entrepreneur) and Dr. George Gogos. Both have developed new products and are in various stages of completing research to take new products to market.
Seven meetings have been held since the group began holding regular meetings, which are now scheduled at 11:30 on the third Thursday of each month. Innovation Connect now reaches more than 50 individuals monthly and more than 30 typically attend meetings. The membership represents 18 manufacturing firms and 7 non-profit organizations.
While speakers are welcome to highlight manufacturing capabilities or ongoing basic research, Innovation Connect is much more focused on making new linkages and the eventual creation of partnerships. Meetings are intended to create dialogue about ongoing innovation, business challenges, new products in development, and possible applications of research.
Innovation Connect is a direct response to this need, growing Lincoln’s economy through innovation. Outcomes like new products, entry into new markets and long term sustainable job growth in Lincoln is what organizers hope to see over time.
For inquiries about Innovation Connect please contact Jason Ball at jball@LCOC.com or 402.436.2374.