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Did you know that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Diocles laser produced a beam of light 1 billion times brighter than the surface of the sun — the brightest light ever produced on Earth?

This amazing achievement by Nebraska physicists creates X-rays with applications ranging from improved cancer radiation therapy to detecting uranium in a dirty bomb hidden in steel cargo containers.

This is just one example of the powerful research being done at your land-grant university. With more than $302 million in annual research expenditures this year, UNL generated a $2 billion annual economic impact for Nebraska.

UNL research partnerships with government and industry resulted in more than 850 jobs for our state and $5.1 million in royalties for faculty inventors. And opportunities keep coming — our NUtech Ventures this year licensed 31 of our faculty’s research technologies, generated $5.1 million in royalties and helped launch five new, faculty-led startup companies here in Nebraska.

One of our start-ups, Conductive Concrete Technologies, is at work making roads safer in Lancaster County. Conductive concrete, patented by UNL researchers, has been used to deice the Roca Spur Bridge south of Lincoln for a decade. The conductive concrete can also be used to shield power grids and military buildings from electromagnetic pulses, helping to protect our critical national infrastructure.

The award-winning Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network develops and implements water-conservation strategies and tools on more than 1.7 million irrigated acres of Nebraska farmland.

Developed by Nebraska faculty and Extension and launched in 2005, the network includes farmers, natural resources districts, crop consultants, irrigation districts and USDA conservation officials. The Nebraska benefits are clear: Participants have reduced irrigation withdrawal by 2.2 inches per acre, per year since 2005 — saving more than 1 million acre-feet of water and $50 million in fuel costs.

Fifty percent of Nebraska’s wheat fields are planted with varieties developed at UNL. Nebraska scientists are now probing the newest frontier in plant science — the hidden world below ground teeming with microbes. They are at the forefront of research studying the complex relationships of plant roots and microbes and how they can be altered to improve crop productivity.

We are also engaged in the critically important efforts of ensuring the safety and well-being of Nebraska’s children. UNL’s Center on Children, Families and the Law partners with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Lincoln’s Child Advocacy Center to operate Nebraska’s Child Protection and Safety Training program. Each year, more than 200 new child welfare employees across our state learn to assess safety and well-being, engage positively with family members and to understand the effects of trauma.

Nearly 150 years ago, the University of Nebraska was founded with a mission of public education, research and positive impact to our state. That mission drives us to excellence each and every day.

Through our grit, and in our glory, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is proudly showing the world why “There is no place like Nebraska.”

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