Tech Nebraska supports Innovation Policy and Business Innovation Act

Written by Laurel Oetken

April 16, 2024

In February, on behalf of the Nebraska Chamber, the Greater Omaha Chamber, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Invest Nebraska, and our current members, Tech Nebraska testified in support of LB1333 a bill brought forward by Senator Tony Vargas, representative of Omaha’s 7th District to “Change Provisions of the Business Innovation Act.”

At its core, LB1333 would allow technology and innovation companies in Nebraska to continue to grow their innovations. 

During public testimony of the bill on February 14, 2024, Laurel Oetken, Executive Director for Tech Nebraska said, “Over the years, by way of programs such as the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), countless organizations have been enabled to expand their technological footprint, create more innovative products and services, and move the needle forward in terms of scientific innovation in Nebraska.” 

“While the proposed modifications included in LB1333 do not allocate any additional state funds to the Business Innovation Act or grant match program, they do allow organizations to receive potentially more funding in both phases of the program,” said Oetken. 

It was also noted that the modifications proposed in LB1333 would remove limitations and expand access for Nebraska’s startups and small businesses looking to utilize them. Tech Nebraska and its partners believe this could also be a way to incentivize early-stage organizations in the state to compete for and bring more federal research funding to Nebraska. 

Tech Nebraska widely supported this bill, and on behalf of our community partners because by supporting LB1333, we are not only investing in the future of research and development enterprises, but are also laying the groundwork for sustained economic growth and long-term competitiveness as a state. 

“The infusion of additional funding will enable organizations across sectors and industries to expand their operations, create high-quality jobs, and make a meaningful, long-term impact to our local economy,” said Oetken.

“Moreover, this will also help to foster the establishment of new R&D firms and will fuel a new cycle of innovation and entrepreneurship that will benefit our state for generations to come.” 

Laurel Oetken

As of March 14, 2024, LB1333 was included within the 2024 budget proposals and within a recommended amendment to LB1413.

Members or prospective members interested in Tech Nebraska’s advocacy efforts are encouraged to fill out an interest form on our member page to engage in future policy discussions. 

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