The University of Nebraska-Lincoln joins the NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region


The NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region is happy to announce that The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is joining the Hub as a member institution.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) established the Great Lakes I-Corps Hub in 2021. With UNL’s addition, the hub now includes 12 universities in eight states and is one of ten regional hubs across the country.

“Membership in NSF’s Great Lakes Innovation Corps Hub will build on and expand UNL’s entrepreneurial efforts,” said Brad Roth, president and executive director of NUtech Ventures, the university’s technology commercialization affiliate.

Roth said that I-Corps engages academic scientists and engineers in innovation by providing world-class educational programs designed to train them to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and accelerate the transfer of cutting-edge research into commercial success.

“Our membership in the Great Lakes I-Corps Hub is a natural next step, and especially timely as we focus on the seven UNL Grand Challenges that are driving much of our research and creative activity,” said Bob Wilhelm, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.

UNL’s membership will give it expanded opportunities for entrepreneurship programs through the hub and its member institutions, Roth said. The university will have additional training opportunities to support its faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs, as well as access to a robust regional mentor and investor network.

Roth said membership in the I-Corps Hub will build on Nebraska’s success in recent years with its Nebraska Introduction to Customer Discovery (N-ICD) program, an I-Corps-modeled program that NUtech Ventures has used the last three years to train researchers pursuing technology commercialization.

In addition to UNL, the Great Lakes I-Corps Hub is led by the University of Michigan in partnership with Purdue University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Minnesota, the University of Toledo, Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, Michigan Technological University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Akron, the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

When NSF established its regional I-Corps hubs last year, Linda Blevins, Deputy Assistant Director for Engineering, said they were the next step in expanding the 10-year-old I-Corps program that has been critical to fostering the creative spirit and entrepreneurship that enables NSF-funded research to be translated into new products and services and contribute to the nation’s economy.

“The I-Corps hubs will bring together diverse scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry partners from every part of our country, providing everyone with an opportunity to solve key challenges and spur economic growth, including new startups and new jobs,” Blevins said.

The Great Lakes Hub is excited to welcome a new member institution and expand the reach of I-Corps programming across the region.

“The NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region is excited to have the University of Nebraska join us.  NSF I-Corps has proven to be a catalytic program that greatly enhances the flow of talent and knowledge from universities into the economy where they can make a real difference.  With the University of Nebraska added to our hub, we will grow the reach of the program and be able to leverage the unique assets and connections of the university for the benefit of the region and the nation” said Jonathan Fay, Hub Director, NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region.


Read more about the announcement


Read the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Announcement