UNeTech would not be UNeTech without the Economic Development Administration
October 21, 2021

UNeTech writes a lot of grants. Those grants have helped to expand our programs, enable collaborations, and support the amazing innovation ecosystem right here in Omaha. Build Back Better Regional Challenge is the Economic Development Administration’s latest funding opportunity. A big grant – a Phase I planning grant opens to a multi-million dollar building grant. UNeTech was graciously tapped to write a proposal for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the city of Omaha, and the Heartland region.

And now, after an intensive month of writing, editing, rewriting and the magic of Canva, we wait. And as we wait, I can only say one thing: thank you.

UNeTech staff tracks our goal to collaborate with 75 community partners for letters of support for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. We collected 84 letters.

Thank you to UNMC for giving our scrappy institute the keys to the castle! UNeTech had access to promotional materials for both Saddle Creek and NExT developments on campus allowing us to weave our Build Back Better proposal through the existing transformational building ongoing on campus. Thank you to the oodles of gracious letters from inventors, collaborators, administrators, and colleagues. Thank you to the veteran grants administrators who took the time to talk one strung out associate director off the ledge and catch some crucial last-minute gaffes in our applications. Thank you to our collaborators at our sister campuses across the state who helped fit our work into the amazing plans our state has for your public universities.

Thank you to the city of Omaha for opening UNeTech’s eyes to the scope of what we are trying to achieve. From the talented professionals at Metropolitan Area Planning Area (MAPA) to the warm support from the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce – UNeTech was able to quickly change a sketch of an academic program into an accessible asset for the whole city. Until UNeTech wrote the proposal we did not think enogh about public transit, ensuring diversity in the selection of construction contractors or the broader civic impact that innovation and entrepreneurship can really have. Truly, writing this grant has changed how our institute will consider its role in the city and that influence will help our institute in planning future programs.

Thank you to our Heartland partners for coming together to create a new vision of what a region can do. From Vermillion, South Dakota to Tulsa, Oklahoma, academic partners pledged support in writing to help build a regional health innovation hub. That vision is too tantalizing to wait. UNeTech has already turned its gaze to the surrounding states: Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma to help expand access to the programs and build new opportunities for the entire region.

UNeTech writes a lot of grants. Even if this proposal is not successful, many of its parts will go on to be grist for future proposals, future collaborations, and future projects. In writing this ambitious proposal consider our minds blown to the scope of what we can do. If nothing else, it swells our egg-shaped little heart to know that fingers across the campus, the city and the region will stay crossed in hope that the EDA reviews UNeTech’s proposal favorably.

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