NCET explore business and technology
By Dave Archer
You’ve probably heard about the groundbreaking genetic research study Desert Research Institute and Renown Health have undertaken with leading personal genetics company, 23andMe.
Funded by Renown Health Foundation and Nevada’s Knowledge Fund, this pilot study offers community members the opportunity to volunteer for research while also gaining access to their individual genetic information at no cost.
These three forward-thinking organizations are working together to analyze massive amounts of Nevada’s population health, genetic and environmental data. Researchers and doctors are collaborating in hopes of improving their ability to better understand, treat and prevent health issues across Northern Nevada.
The study, launched Sept. 15, generated so much excitement that it only took two days for 10,000 residents to sign up. It’s now underway, with thousands of northern Nevadans receiving free 23andMe test kits every day.
The genetics study is only one example of the many ways that world-renowned talent and expertise at DRI finds practical applications to improve Nevada’s economy and way of life.
The Applied Innovation Center at DRI puts funding from Nevada’s Knowledge Fund to work to deliver practical, market-oriented solutions. Results-driven research scientists and data experts rely on DRI’s high-performance computing infrastructure to get the job done. The Institute’s highly secure cyber-infrastructure and two on-site data centers allow researchers to mine massive amount of data and discover previously unknown connections.
All the supercomputing capacity in the world wouldn’t mean a thing, however, without experts who ask the right questions and design the right applications to deliver new insights and real-world results. Thanks to the Knowledge Fund and a unique interdisciplinary research model, DRI has hired those experts.
Data experts in the Applied Innovation Center at DRI, for example, are developing new weather forecasting tools more accurate than many of the well-known forecasts used by government and industries across the U.S. That can benefit everyone from utilities to farmers and ski resort operators.
The Applied Innovation Center is focused on four key areas: Climate and Energy; Engineering and Design; the Internet of Things and Remote Sensing; and Life Sciences and Informatics.
Within these areas, abundant opportunities for innovation and discovery continue to emerge. DRI’s massive computing capabilities allow engineering firms to design new factories and vehicles. DRI’s deep experience in microbial ecology helps researchers understand how cancer cells grow and change. DRI’s experience collecting data in some of the most extreme locations on Earth helps drive the development of new sensors and scientific methods.
DRI’s growing list of research partners ranges from government agencies to entrepreneurial startups to some of the world’s largest corporations.
Science at the Desert Research Institute has always been on the cutting edge and its successful use of the Knowledge Fund as an initial resource to drive the Applied Innovation Center is delivering benefits far beyond what its creators imagined.
Dave Archer is President/CEO of NCET, which produces networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.