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7:30 - 8:30am

Conference Check-in & Refreshments

8:30 - 8:45am

Event Welcome and Introductions

Matthew T. Andrews, Ph.D. - Nebraska EPSCoR Director

8:45 - 9:15am

The Science and Technology of EQUATE

Christian Binek, Ph.D. - Charles Bessey Professor of Physics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Director, Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience; Director, Nebraska Nanoscale Facility: National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure; Scientific Director, NSF EPSCoR EQUATE (Emergent QUAntum materials and TEchnologies)

9:15 - 9:45am

Workforce Development and Mentoring Activities of EQUATE

Rebecca Lai, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, UNL Chemistry

9:45 - 10:00 am

Coffee Break

10:00 - 11:15am

NUtech Ventures: the Process of Technology Commercialization

Presenters from NUtech Ventures include Joy Eakin, Cheryl Horst, and Zane Gernhart

11:15am - Noon

Small Tech, Big Dreams: Finding Your Purpose in the Valley of Death

Matthew S. Hull, Associate Director - Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program Manager, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science / Virginia Tech University; Owner, NanoSafe, Inc.

Abstract: Small technologies, from microscale systems to advanced materials and emerging quantum devices offer extraordinary opportunities to solve some of humankind's greatest challenges. But who can translate these sophisticated laboratory marvels into practical solutions that actually benefit society? The path from ground-breaking discovery to a commercially-viable enterprise can be a treacherous one that surprisingly few are willing to take. This talk will share lessons learned along one such path, and highlight resources to help a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs find their purpose in the "Valley of Death."

Bio: Matthew Hull serves as Associate Director for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the NSF-funded US National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) and Virginia Tech's Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology (NanoEarth). He also serves as Research Scientist and Associate Director for the Virginia Tech Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory (NCFL), managed by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS). He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2011 and an M.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech in 2002. He received his B.S. in Environmental Science from Ferrum College in 2000. Hull is also President and Owner of NanoSafe, Inc., a provider of nanotechnology human and environmental health and safety (EHS) services and nano-enabled sustainability solutions he founded in 2007.

Noon - 1:00pm


1:00 - 1:30pm

Guidance from NBDC - Nebraska Business Development Center

Josh Nichol-Caddy, MBA, CGBP - Technology Commercialization Director, NBDC / University of Nebraska at Omaha

1:30 - 3:00pm

From My Experience: Faculty Innovators Share Their Stories

Each speaker will share their experiences for approximately 45 minutes (including 15 minutes of Q&A per speaker)
* Michael E. Flatté, Ph.D. - Professor, University of Iowa Dept. of Physics and Astronomy; Founder & Chief Scientist, QuantCAD, LLC
Topic: Starting a Quantum Deep Tech Company during a Quantum Revolution
Abstract: Decades ago, concrete protocols were proposed to perform remarkable tasks, including breaking widely-used encryption, generating unbreakable codes, and rapidly searching huge databases. However, to achieve these goals, new types of devices are required: relying on physical components with coherent quantum-mechanical properties that would persist for nearly unimaginably long times. How does a startup find a niche in this active research and development space--with governments willing to commit billions, and large companies (Google, IBM, Microsoft) orienting towards development and commercialization? I will describe one path, including surprises, painful lessons, and successes.

Bio: Michael E. Flatté received the A.B. degree in physics from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, in 1988, and the Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, in 1992. He is a Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Iowa (UI), Iowa City, IA, USA. After his post-doctoral work at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara, and the Division of Applied Sciences, Harvard University, he joined the faculty at UI in 1995. He has over 270 publications and ten patents. He has an adjunct appointment as a Professor at the Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. His research interests include optical and electrical control of spin dynamics in materials, novel spintronic devices, quantum sensors, and solid-state realizations of quantum computation.  Dr. Flatté is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society.
In 2009 Dr. Flatté founded QuantCAD LLC to license for commercialization the optoelectronics software developed in his research group at UI. Since then this software has been licensed to company, national lab, and university users. In 2021 QuantCAD LLC was accepted into the first cohort of Duality, the nation’s first quantum company business accelerator, to commercialize software that simulates noise in quantum devices. QuantCAD is also a partner organization of Quantimony, a European Innovative Training Network in Quantum Technologies.

* Ravi Saraf, Ph.D. - L & B Anderson Professor, UNL Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; Vajra Instruments, Inc.

3:00 - 3:15pm

Coffee Break

3:15 - 4:15pm

Panel discussion

Speakers from the day's sessions will regroup to address various relevant topics.

4:15 - 4:30pm


4:30 - 5:30pm



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