(1) The department shall establish a financial assistance program to provide financial assistance to businesses operating in Nebraska that use the faculty or facilities of a public or private college or university in Nebraska for applied research and development of new products or use intellectual property generated at a public or private college or university in Nebraska.
(2) A business may apply for up to two awards in any four-year period per project. The department may provide up to one hundred thousand dollars for the first phase of a project. If the first phase is successful and agreed-upon contractual requirements are met during the first phase, the department may provide up to four hundred thousand dollars for the second phase of the project.
(3) Funds shall be matched by nonstate funds equivalent in money equal to one hundred percent of the funds requested for both phases of the project. Matching funds may be from any nonstate source, including private foundations, federal or local government sources, quasi-governmental entities, or commercial lending institutions, or any other funds whose source does not include funds appropriated by the Legislature.
(4) The department may award up to four million dollars per year for financial assistance under this section.