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I’ve been following (and participating) in NSF’s Future of Work (FW) program closely. FW has a lot of relevance for NV – especially given it’s service-driven economy. FW brings PIs mainly from SBE (Social, Behavioral, Economics) and EHR (Educational and Human Resources) to complement CISE/ENG PIs.
There are some interesting “dots” that can be “connected”. EG: 2 rather large companies in the driverless (Aptive/Delphi) and vertical farming (Oasis Biotech) have moved to Vegas. Up north, we’ve seen how Tesla’s Gigafactory is mainly automated. But solar and energy harvesting may be another “economy” for FW. These have potential to displace/disrupt low-wage/unskilled labor. Some fundamental and applied research for on-demand and shared economies thus arise.
Also the Harry Reid Research Technology Park (RTP) broke ground yesterday. Often NSF’s large-scale ($MM) projects look at infrastructure, so the RTP can be articulated as such.
The Achilles Heel in my mind is ensuring SBE/EHR folks in UNR/UNLV/DRI have the vision, researchers, etc to case a $$MM idea…