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Mission Milestones

2012 - 2021


The University of Nebraska (NU) competes in a national open call for and is selected as a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) designated by the United States Office of the Secretary of Defense. NU establishes NSRI as an affiliated but independent 501(c)3 organization to carry the UARC designation.

U.S Strategic Command awards NU/NSRI its first indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle representing future projects worth $84 million. NSRI begins convening NU researchers with federal agency customers to accomplish deliverables.


With $600,000 NU startup funding, NSRI lands contracts for 22 task orders. The task orders total $9 million — a significant accomplishment for a UARC’s inaugural year. This validates the demand for national defense support and confirms the value of NU’s and NSRI’s research capabilities across chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive domains.


NSRI serves its 10th customer. Projects demonstrate the breadth of NU’s capabilities and capacity. Through a key project, “Low-Dose Radiographic System,” University of Nebraska–Lincoln physicists eventually will demonstrate that laser-produced X-rays can penetrate steel much thicker than cargo container walls and detect an even smaller amount of uranium than the minimum required by inspection standards.


Medical Passive Defense Against WMD

NSRI and NU complete their 25th research project for Department of Defense (DOD) and federal agency customers, while conducting 20 additional projects. In total, 24 NU researchers have participated as principal investigators on projects through NSRI since 2012. Projects include immunomics unit research support ($5.3 million), traffic-calming elements for entry-control facilities to delay and contain threats ($1 million) and a next-generation sequence training module ($1 million).


Total contract awards since 2012 surpass $42 million, with $18.3 million awarded in 2016 alone — the highest one-year total to date. NSRI and NU have provided deliverables on 60 task orders, contracts and grants. NSRI scientists with extensive DOD experience are brought on board and begin work on a $9.3 million, 3-year contract involving biological field and laboratory support.


NSRI begins expanding its physical footprint beyond Nebraska to better support defense customers. The NSRI National Capital Region Laboratory and Conference Center opens in Annapolis Junction, Md., and the NSRI Fredericksburg Field Office & Laboratory opens in Fredericksburg, Va. A cross-campus partnership of UNMC and UNL launches the Nebraska Drug Discovery Pipeline through a $7.3 million DOD contract. The pipeline will go on to assist in development of drugs to mitigate and/or counteract effects of Acute Radiation Syndrome.


NSRI has facilitated 83 contract awards from 24 sponsors, totaling $61 million. More than 240 NU researchers and students have participated in projects. In this year alone, five contract awards total more than $8 million each. Several projects enter a second phase, including, “En Route Care Acute Respiratory Distress System (ARDS) Mitigation Using Oxygenated Microbubbles” and “Medical Countermeasure Drug Discovery and Development.” To keep pace with demand, USSTRATCOM awards the second IDIQ to the University of Nebraska through NSRI. This one for $92 million.


NSRI / NU Nuclear Deterrence Team 2019

NSRI and NU experience the most significant year-over-year contract growth to date — a 51% increase over 2018. Since 2012, NSRI has facilitated $155 million in contracts, with an estimated NU ROI of $3.30 for every $1 invested. By 2019, NSRI has served more than 40 defense customers. NSRI’s employee numbers surpass 50, and the institute expands its leadership team.


NU President Ted Carter

The University of Nebraska and NSRI respond rapidly to evolving COVID-19 mitigation efforts, quickly adapting existing defense data, skills, tools and personnel to support the nation’s most immediate need. NSRI is awarded its third IDIQ contract from USSTRATCOM, another $92 million for application to ongoing defense initiatives, and the institute opens the new Space Coast Field Office in Melbourne, Fl.


Lt Gen John Bussiere with NSRI strategic deterrence interns

NSRI strategic deterrence interns after their brief
to Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere (center) at U.S. Strategic Command.

NSRI launches several researcher engagement programs including NSRI Fellows and NSRI IRAD to continue to build multidisciplinary teams across the University of Nebraska focused on developing solutions for complex problems across the spectrum of CBRNe threats. The Collaborative Biosecurity Laboratory opens to provide foresight in the areas of food, agriculture and environment. NSRI and NU welcome new customers, including Tripler Army Medical Center, and the Nebraska Drug Discovery and Development Pipeline continues to deliver pharmaceutical advancements to the Defense Health Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Seven undergraduate students brief their NSRI internship experience and the resulting online wargame to Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command.

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As the DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) of U.S. Strategic Command and the University of Nebraska System, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) delivers solutions for strategic deterrence and CWMD mission requirements gaps. Our rapid-response capabilities and efficient contracting vehicle can help federal government program managers meet critical research and development needs. Connect with us to learn more.

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