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2009.03.03 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Collaboration Experts Meet at UNO to Create New Technology

Omaha – An international team of academic and industry partners joined the Center for Collaboration Science (CCS) for a three-day workshop in mid-February in the new Executive Decision Lab, housed in the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

Their goal was to design a new generation of collaboration technology. Collaboration engineers will use the new software platform to design and develop new collaborative applications in just hours or days – opposed to months or years.

Research suggests that practitioners who use these applications – known as ActionCenters – for high-value recurring work practice may be able to achieve productivity gains of 50 to 90 percent.

The open-source software development project, funded by a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Air Force, is expected to run another two years. When completed, the resulting platform will be the foundation for ongoing research in all six colleges on the UNO campus for a variety of collaborative tasks, including: strategic planning, marketing focus groups, risk assessments, after-action reviews, and system requirements negotiation.

"When the software is finished, it will be the launch pad for at least a decade of research," said Robert Briggs, principle investigator for the grant and a UNO professor in the College of Business Administration. "There are so many unanswered questions we will be able to explore with this platform.”

Briggs, with a team of six CCS researchers and developers, worked with other leading thinkers on collaboration engineering, including Alexander Verbraeck, Gwendolyn Kolfschoten and Stephan Lukosch of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands; and Conan Albrecht of Brigham Young University. Kevin McCarthy of GroupSystems Corporation, a long-time vendor of collaboration software, also contributed to the workshop.

For more information on the project, call Briggs at (402) 554-2972.

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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