Fermentation Collaborative Receives iHub Designation

Bio Nebraska’s application for a Fermentation Collaborative has been accepted by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

Press Release from Bio Nebraska

Bio Nebraska announced today that its iHub application for its Fermentation Collaborative has been accepted by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). The Fermentation Collaborative is a proposed partnership between the bioscience industry and Nebraska’s colleges and universities to help develop, coordinate, and promote an emerging fermentation industry in Nebraska.

“Fermentation is essential to several of Nebraska’s leading bioscience industries, including biofuels production, animal vaccine manufacturing, craft brewing, and more, and is the core of many companies in the state,” said Rob Owen, Executive Director of Bio Nebraska. “Fermentation training will help students ultimately qualify for high wage careers right here at home, while supporting the continued development of companies who require fermentation experts as part of their workforce.”

An iHub designation will accelerate the Fermentation Collaborative’s purpose to grow a precision fermentation workforce, cultivate the entrepreneurship innovation fermentation ecosystem, and sustain a vibrant fermentation industry in Nebraska. The Collaborative’s proposed partnership with Nebraska’s junior/senior high schools, colleges, community colleges. and universities will provide programming aimed at creating awareness as well as education and training opportunities to support Nebraska’s fermentation needs.

The Fermentation Collaborative’s headquarters will be strategically located in Lincoln, Neb., near its collaborators, Southeast Community College and Invest Nebraska, and will be managed by Owen. The Collaborative will also include a steering committee and a private industry advisory board, ensuring that the goals and programming of the Fermentation Collaborative are tailored to meet the unique needs of Nebraska companies.

“Nebraska has seen an increase recently in new tech startups utilizing fermentation processes including Synbiotic Health and Bluestem Biosciences,” said Dan Hoffman, CEO of Invest Nebraska. “By leveraging the state’s existing fermentation infrastructure, this iHub has the potential to increase R&D assets, expand human capital, and generate innovative startups.”

“Southeast Community College’s biotechnology program trains students to work in laboratory settings, including in precision fermentation, and is designed to continually adapt to industry needs. SCC is excited to be part of this effort to advance knowledge and awareness of this growing career area in Nebraska,” said Misty Wehling, Co-Chair of Southeast Community College’s biotechnology program.

As part of the Nebraska Innovation Hub Act passed by the Nebraska Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts in 2022, DED designates innovation hubs within iHub areas to stimulate partnerships, economic development, and job creation. Visit DED’s website to learn more about the Nebraska Innovation Hub Act and the 2023 designated iHub areas across Nebraska.

To learn more about the Fermentation Collaborative, contact Rob Owen at [email protected]