Innovate Conference: Medical Breakthroughs Lead to Regional Economic Growth

More than 100 attendees gathered at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in October to learn about Nebraska’s contribution and leadership in the bioscience and medtech industries. The Innovate Conference, hosted by the Greater Omaha Chamber, Bio Nebraska, Omaha Public Power District and UNeMed, put a spotlight on the many Nebraska-based medical breakthroughs and unique opportunities that have propelled advancements in public health, patient outcomes and commercial patents. 

“Nebraska is a global leader in medical technology and bioscience innovation,” said Dr. Michael Dixon, president and CEO of UNeMed, the technology transfer and commercialization office for UNMC. “The research done here impacts the health and wellness of people across the world. We often think of Nebraska as an integral part of the agribusiness ecosystem, but our contributions to biotech cannot be overstated.” 

The Innovate Conference featured a keynote from Dr. Jim Linder, CEO of Nebraska Medicine and founder of Linseed Capital. Several panel discussions covered medtech startup companies in Nebraska, opportunities for venture capital and economic development considerations for expansion and growth. There were also VIP tours of UNMC’s Davis Global Center, iExcel and National Quarantine Center. 

“These one-of-kind research and innovation centers are a crown jewel for the life science cluster we’re building here in Omaha,” said Mark Norman, senior director of business attraction and expansion for the Greater Omaha Chamber. “The Innovate Nebraska conference was a great opportunity for us to connect the amazing breakthroughs being made in Nebraska with business leaders who can help bring those innovations to market and grow our local medtech ecosystem.” 

Innovate Nebraska led into the Bio Nebraska annual meeting, where Governor Pete Ricketts presented the Governor’s Bioscience Award. Earlier this month, Governor Ricketts officially proclaimed the month of October as Bioscience Month in Nebraska.

Opportunity, Diversity and Equity

The Greater Omaha Chamber hosted the 4th annual Conference on Opportunity, Diversity and Equity on Thursday, October 6. The Conference was held at the CHI Health Center and in-person for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was impressed by not only the turnout, but the active participation by all attendees at this year’s Conference. The people that showed up at the CHI Center ready to make a difference are what made this a successful event. This is a great step forward on Omaha’s path to positive change in our community and I can’t wait to see the progress we’ve made at next year’s conference,” said Dell Nared, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Greater Omaha Chamber. 

Almost 800 individuals pre-registered for the event, which sought to empower attendees to transform their workplace for the better and equip them to take action and break down the barriers to equality. The event was headlined by special guest speakers Janet Stovall and Jeff Raikes.

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Attendees left the Conference with inspiration from 16 breakout sessions, ranging from: Incivility at Work: Insights and Best Practices, Creating a Road Map for Disability Inclusion Workplace Practices, and Seeing Color in Corporate among others. 

At the conclusion of the event, the date for next year’s conference was also announced for October 20, 2023.

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