School:University of Nebraska Omaha
Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship: The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is gradually growing their Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) learning opportunities through the offering of different courses. This includes majors that allow students to have more flexibility in choosing their preferred classes. Currently, the campus offers several events that inspire students to improve their skills in I&E. UNO also hosts many student organizations and regular competitions that utilize the students' innovation and entrepreneurial skills and has dedicated workshops and studios for I&E iterative prototyping, designing, and creating. However, many of these spaces are unknown or restricted to a select group of students and/or faculty. Criss Library, UNO's main library on campus, is the home of the Creative Production Lab. This Lab is open to all students and faculty to utilize with a reduced cost for certain materials if needed; in addition, the Scott Technology Center is being developed as a startup incubator space.
Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship: Many undergraduate students ideate and develop capstone projects their senior year, where each project may take a form that is specific to the major or field that it takes place in. With the gradual improvement of I&E overall on campus, students can easily find assistance from innovative and entrepreneurial staff and faculty. The community at UNO is motivated by the staff and faculty behind each club, organization, or class as the students take the wheel in the process of successfully creating change in some meaningful way. For example, the student government is coached by staff, pushing them to implement positive change on campus. Faculty are also supported by administration with access to specialized workshops, seminars, and community connections by different academies. The Center for Faculty Excellence exists to support UNO faculty through instructional assistance, professional development, and leadership opportunities.
Actively supporting the university technology transfer function:Currently, UNO does not have a dedicated technology transfer office. However, UNO students and faculty are able to use the University of Nebraska Medicine’s UNeMed technology transfer office due to the partial integration of the two campuses. UNeMed manages intellectual property and invention notification services for UNO.
Facilitating university-industry collaboration:There are many creative spaces surrounding UNO that are open to the public for collaborating and practicing I&E skills. UNO is home to a collaborative meeting ground in a building called the Community Engagement Center that brings in neighboring nonprofits, organizations, and business to allow exposure to the student population. In turn, this creates opportunities for collaboration through internships and job opportunities. Housed within the Community Engagement Center is the Student Services and Leadership Collaborative. This department hires student workers to lead volunteer days, operate the Maverick Food Pantry, and to serve as interns at local nonprofit organizations. In their internships, students work with their nonprofit to identify and address a need of the agency. Job fairs are thrown frequently over the course of each year that connect students to new businesses and organizations. Many smaller community businesses or startups attend these job fairs which allows for each student to have a sense of change within their new position. The Startup Collaborative sponsors a Start-Up weekend every year where students work in teams to pitch ideas and develop business plans. This community organization also provides resources for helping students develop start-ups. UNO also has mentoring programs such as the Success Academy, Thompson Learning Community, or Walter Scott Jr. Scholarship that help guide students through the college experience and beyond during their time at the university.
Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts:With recent budget cuts for UNO, many staff and students have had to adapt to save money where possible. UNO has always been greatly involved with the local community via events, fundraising, partnerships, and other initiatives. UNO is a great helper in the field of community service in strengthening our bonds with the surrounding community in hopes of improving our economic support. The Center for Public Affairs Research, the lead agency for the Nebraska State Data Center, along with several government-oriented research labs are housed on campus. Both groups produce data and reports for use by government and non-governmental organizations to be used in community development.
Strategic Priorities: http://universityinnovation.org/wiki/University_of_Nebraska_Omaha_Student_Priorities
2019 UNO Innovation Fellows
2018 UNO Innovation Fellows