UNMC, Chamber, Others Team Up For Medical Tech Pipeline, Receive i6 Challenge Grant

Omaha Medical Technology Pipeline – a joint effort among the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Nebraska Business Development Center, Metropolitan Community College, and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce – was one of 26 organizations chosen to receive a $750,000 matching grant over three years through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge program for 2019.

 The grants were announced July 23 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross under the 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program competition through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

 Omaha Medical Technology Pipeline is a start-up project being developed by UNeTech, an institute designed to identify promising start-up companies and help them become successful.

“We greatly appreciate the recognition given by the EDA to the innovative programs established by the state of Nebraska, UNO, UNMC and the Omaha entrepreneurial community,” Rod Markin, executive director of UNeTech, said in a release. “Omaha is so fortunate to have great resources in place to advance innovative concepts into outstanding products, and the UNeTech Institute is excited to get to work with the EDA. This support will allow us to transition from a research environment to a product development and business opportunity.”

Markin said the project will harness the impressive resources throughout the community to invent, build and commercialize new medical devices.

Joe Runge, associate director of UNeTech, said the grant could be a difference maker for Omaha’s entrepreneurial community.

At the project’s end, Runge said UNeTech expects to process 60 new medical technology inventions, file 60 patents or copyrights and launch or expand 25 companies. Those should help create or retain more than 100 jobs, he said.

“The bottom line is, we believe Omaha is home to some of the world’s best and brightest clinicians and faculty – world renowned surgeons and researchers,” said Tyler Scherr, Ph.D., licensing associate, UNeMed Corp., the technology transfer company for UNMC and UNO. “This proposal represents UNeTech placing a $750,000 bet on our faculty – and we do not expect them to disappoint!”


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