Nebraska Innovation Studio has the distinction of being largely self-supporting for daily operations, with equipment purchases and upkeep coming entirely from gifts, grants, and membership fees.

Our Story (so far)

  1. 2008 - Innovation Campus Purchased

    The University of Nebraska and the State of Nebraska together purchase the former State Fair grounds to be used as emerging research park.

  2. 2013 - NIS Concept

    Dr. Shane Farritor conceives the idea for an on-campus space open to UNL students and community members alike.

  3. 2015 - NIS Opens Doors

    Nebraska Innovation Studio officially opens to the public in October 2015, with a laser, vinyl cutter, screen printing, woodshop, and ceramic and textiles areas.

  4. 2018 - Veterans Program Launched

    With the help of a private donation, Nebraska Innovation Studio starts a therapeutic woodturning program for veterans. Since it began in January 2018, more than 270 veterans in the Whole Health and Veterans in Recovery program have enjoyed free membership at Innovation Studio. 

  5. 2019 - Classroom Opens

    Innovation Studio opens a state-of-the-art classroom. The classroom has hosted UNL students studying architecture, art, education, emerging media arts, engineering, and fashion design. Nebraska Wesleyan and Bay High have also used the classroom.  

  6. 2020 - Innovation Studio Closes for COVID

    The COVID pandemic closes Innovation Studio for six months beginning in March 2020, During the closure, NIS staff and volunteers assemble 33,000 face shields for hospitals in Nebraska and elsewhere and for dentists across the state.

  7. 2021 - Grand Reopening

    Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, Nebraska Innovation Studio holds a grand reopening with a larger woodshop and new metal shop.

  8. 2022 - Heartland Robotics Grant Awarded

    The U.S. Economic Development Administration awards the Heartland Robotics Cluster a transformative $25M grant to revolutionize agriculture and manufacturing in the state. Innovation Studio receives $4M for equipment, staff, and programs in robotics and automation.

  9. 2023 - Robotics Arms Arrive

    Innovation Studio receives two robotic arms, thanks to the Build Back Better grant, giving students and local businesses an opportunity to learn and prototype using robotic technology. 

  10. 2024 - Record Breaking Membership

    Innovation Studio crosses 400 active monthly members for the first time.

Give to the Studio

Every donation helps sustain Nebraska's Maker ecosystem

Partner Organizations Lead the Way
We've recieved +$3,000,000 in equipment donations
and Members use it every single day.
Significant contributions from Snap-On Tools, the Cooper Foundation, Matheson Gas, and many more partners help reach this figure.

Key Partners

Nebraska Innovation Campus

Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC) is connecting the talents of experts, companies and the university to create a unique culture of innovation. NIC is a research campus designed to facilitate new and in-depth partnerships between the University of Nebraska and private sector businesses. NIC is adjacent to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) and strategically provides access to research faculty, facilities and students. NIC aspires to be the most sustainable research and technology campus in the United States.

Visit Innovation Campus