Nebraska group receives $25 million grant to develop robotics in agriculture

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A project in Nebraska to develop automation and robotics in agriculture has received a $25 million grant from the federal government.

The Heartland Robotics Cluster, a coalition of local entities led by the Invest Nebraska Corporation, was one of 21 recipients of the grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

On Monday, representatives of the EDA, the state and local governments, and UNL personnel toured the Nebraska Innovation Campus and held a roundtable discussion on the grant.

The Nebraska Innovation Studio on the Innovation Campus is part of the cluster. It will use some of the money to expand to give innovators from across the state a place where they can develop automation and robotic solutions.

Innovation Campus is already leading the way in robotic engineering with the Virtual Incision Corporation.

That company is revolutionizing the surgical field with a surgeon-controlled robot that goes into the body to perform surgeries.

Craig Buerstatte of the EDA said the office picked the Heartland Robotics Cluster because the strategy laid out in the request showed that Lincoln was not trying to be San Francisco or Boston, but rather building what’s best for Nebraskans.

The goal is to improve labor productivity in agriculture and manufacturing to grow Nebraska’s economy.

The grant money came from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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