Nebraska Public Power District works very closely with the UNL Energy Sciences Research Center and helps fund innovative projects related to energy through our Domestic Energy Research & Application Initiative. This pathway will give you the tools to be the next big innovator!



Getting started is the hardest part (except for the final 10% but more on that later). Utilizing key tools and a strategic approach you can creATE an IDEa (IDEATE) worthy of your innovation.

Observe the World Around You
"Stop. Look. Listen." is a great safety message from our friends at the railroad, but it also is great advice to begin to see the world around you in ...
Questioning Attitude
"What is the Definition of Questioning Attitude? The NRC’s SCPS (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) defines Questioning Attitude as when individuals avoi...
Brainstorming Tools
Sometimes getting your thoughts organized is the most important part of the IDEATION process. Unfortunately - you will probably have more ideas that y...
N-ocentive Challenge
Need a little kick start? There is a new trend in innovation called crowd sourcing. This is where I have a problem to solve but don't have the resourc...

1. Hit the streets: Interview people and local businesses
2. Take notes - what do you see?
3. Identify strategic problems to address

Dig deeper by exploring the Observing the World Around You pathway that dives into collecting data with sensors!



Now that you have an IDEA - its time to dig into a little research. This stage gives you a foundation to build your idea on. Look around see what others know about your idea. Has it been done? Can I just improve upon other's work? Am I venturing into a wild new frontier?

Research Tools
Here is a list of research tools that will help you in your research
Find Filter & Apply
One of the key skills necessary to be successful in today's world is how you navigate the Internet. This concept of Find-Filter-Apply will help you ma...
What are you looking for?
Knowing where to look is a great start. Knowing what key topics and filtering topics are is a great next step. Turning this research into a useful ste...

Google Scholar Research Search Engine:

Research Project Organization:

Evernote for advanced note taking:


Concept Testing

Now its time for the rubber to hit the road. You have spent time brainstorming to come up with your idea. You have researched and rethought your idea. Now it is time to see if she will fly.

In the concept testing phase you will ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Can I Build It?
  2. Can I Improve It?
  3. Are we a Go or NO Go for launch? {well not really launch but is this idea worth continuing to the next phase?}

Can I Build It: Proof of Concept
Before you spend time and money on a prototype, you need to prove your concept. This isn't a full fledge working model this is simply enough work to a...

1) Make 3D design your friend.

2) Test the parts not the whole.

3) Remember your competitors during research? Yeah, their work has given you a head start - USE IT TO PROVE YOUR CONCEPT!


Business Analytics

Business Analytics


Prototypes and Beta Testing

Prototypes and Beta Testing


Technicalities (product design)

Technicalities (product design)

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