The Heartland Robotics Cluster, led by Invest Nebraska, will be awarded $25 million in grants from the Build Back Better Regional Challenge to accelerate Nebraska’s leadership in the agricultural industry through robotic technologies and advanced manufacturing automation. Invest Nebraska is a member of Bio Nebraska.
Press Release from the U.S. Economic Development Administration
President Biden announced the Heartland Robotics Cluster as one of 21 winners of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, the most impactful regional economic development competition in decades. Funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Regional Challenge is awarding approximately $25 million in grants to the Heartland Robotics Cluster, led by the Invest Nebraska Corporation, to accelerate Nebraska’s leadership in the agricultural industry through robotic technologies and advanced manufacturing automation.
With $25 million in funding from EDA, the Heartland Robotics Cluster will revitalize the region’s rural labor force and strengthen the nation’s food supply chain. The cluster’s projects include expansion of the Nebraska Innovation Studio to create an environment for innovators from across the state and from a variety of demographics to develop automation and robotic solutions. The coalition also will implement seven other projects, including robotics curriculum development; workforce outreach to provide rural areas with opportunities to work with cutting-edge technology; technology commercialization efforts in partnership with private industry; and manufacturing demonstration spaces to de-risk adoption of new technologies.
“The Build Back Better Regional Challenge places community and equity at the heart of its design. With this grant, technological development, revitalization of communities, and job creation go hand in hand,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Invest Nebraska Corporation and its coalition partners will spur technology innovation in the state to fortify our nation’s food supply chain, support rural workers, and accelerate technology.”
“EDA is proud to support the vision of the Heartland Robotics Cluster as it engages rural communities in tech-based economic development,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will transform the agricultural industry in Nebraska and position the region as a leader in innovation that will make our food supply more efficient and sustainable.”