MICHAEL BOEHM: Sowing the seeds of economic recovery, job creation and agricultural innovation | farm and ranch


The first floor of this planned 80,000 square foot complementary facility will facilitate collaboration and provide supports for entrepreneurs to move forward with their business plans. This public-private initiative would include partnerships with venture capital firms providing a robust and efficient development process for products and services.

The second through fourth floors of the building will accelerate the development and deployment of these products and services. These floors will contain state-of-the-art facilities – innovation maker spaces, labs, high-rise spaces – where scientists, engineers and students will work with private sector professionals to develop and test deployable prototypes on the land for precision farming and other technological innovations.

UNL and USDA scientists will then collaborate, test and analyze the prototypes in fields across Nebraska, ensuring that these new technologies meet real-world conditions. When services and products reach ultimate development, Nebraska Extension will provide statewide support to help farmers, ranchers and processors adopt these next-generation innovations.

The Nebraska Innovation Campus currently provides business incubator space for a dozen startups. One example is the Grain Weevil, a small robot designed by two Nebraska undergrads to improve grain silo safety. Another example is Sentinel Fertigation, a student-developed company that analyzes the nitrogen content of crops to determine fertilizer application through irrigation, a process known as fertigation.

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