Sunday, October 31, 2010

NSF Grant to Help State

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the Nebraska “Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research” (EPSCOR) a $1.7 million grant over the next two years to invest in a statewide cyber backbone for high-speed data and video transfer.

The NSF investment will expand the Nebraska University Region Optical Network (NURON), a high bandwidth fiber ring operating between Lincoln and Omaha campuses of the University of Nebraska. Eventually, NURON will be connected to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Creighton University, Wayne State College, and several smaller institution and tribal colleges in the eastern part of the state.

Expanding Nebraska’s cyber infrastructure resources will facilitate interdisciplinary academic research collaborations across the state and more fully connect Nebraska Education to the Nebraska Statewide Telehealth Network.

Connecting the telehealth network to NURON will provide integration among nearly all of the hospitals and public health departments in the state. Several years ago, it was found that when 8,000 participants used video conferencing from a hospital or public health department site, over one million was saved in travel time and over one million in mileage costs.

“All of Nebraska stands to gain by this investment,” said University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken. “With this project, our colleges and universities will have enhanced opportunities for advanced research and collaborations so that our rural residents will have greater access to education and specialized healthcare.”