"21st Century Systems, Inc. serves as a premier example of the best in public-private partnerships between business and the University of Nebraska," Milliken said. "Maintaining a collaborative relationship with the University, the company offers internships to our students, works in partnership with our faculty, brings research dollars into our state and is always eager to offer expertise to small businesses throughout Nebraska."
The Walter Scott Award recognizes companies that create innovative opportunities for students, create partnerships that enable the University to develop the skills needed to meet the technology demands of Nebraska businesses, and provide assistance to the University for building a strong entrepreneurial community partnership. The honor is presented to a business with a presence in Nebraska that has established partnerships and links with the University of Nebraska specifically in the area of innovation and technology. It carries a cash award of $10,000 to be used for the promotion or creation of student work experiences in the fields of information science, technology, and engineering.
21st Century was founded in 1996 by a faculty member at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is now a nationally acclaimed company headquartered at the Scott Technology Center on the UNO campus. With a three-year growth rate of more than 500 percent and offices in nine states, 21st Century produces computer-based decision support systems now used by a growing list of civilian and military customers – from satellites in space, to soldiers and marines in the field.
21st Century hires many top UNO graduates, and offers UNO students real world experiences in an innovative internship program tailored to individual strengths and interests.
The company also has teamed with UNO on research and development for a wide variety of high-tech projects. Having successfully participated in many Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) programs, 21st Century hosted the 2005 Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Conference in Omaha, where it brought together private enterprise and federal agencies.
The award will be presented at a luncheon in Omaha on May 8.