The University of Nevada, Reno, is set to take another progressive step in the world of technological advancement. The university plans to open its new Innevation Center on Sept. 22. The building, which houses the Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center and the Nevada Industry Excellence, has been remodeled and improved to serve the purpose of expanding UNR’s technological influence to students, businesses, researchers and curious individuals across the world.
The 25,000-square-foot building will boast conference rooms, a large space for invention, building and development, rooms for collaborating with mentors, entrepreneurs and experts, and some of the most advanced tools for crafting, which include 3-D printers, welders, and power equipment and computers, among other devices.
Those who joined together to make the Innevation Center a reality also pride themselves on the fact that their partner, Switch, a high-tech, privately-owned company and data center based out of Las Vegas, has invested $500,000 into it, making it their second major investment in northern Nevada.
The “Innevation Center, Powered by Switch” is the full name of the site located in downtown Reno. This was not the original name of the site, but Mridul Gautam, vice president for research and innovation at UNR, believes that together the university and its partners have taken the “no” out of innovation.
“Nevada cannot continue to depend on tourism and casinos,” Gautam said. “It is imperative that UNR, with its wealth of brilliant minds, does everything it can to help grow this region and create that environment where new ideas will flourish.”
Gautam and his partner Heidi Gansert, the executive director of external affairs, have worked to develop the means to help UNR students and faculty shine on a state, national and international level. Gautam says one of the largest goals for the Innevation Center is to help companies move in and hire capable people who want to do creative things and have those employees stay and enrich the region.
They want to make sure companies and individuals also have good mentoring, networking and capital available to them in order to help them make their ideas come to fruition. According to Gautam, the Innevation Center provides a platform for a person to turn an idea into something tangible.
Gautam has also taken it upon himself to do what he can to help place and keep the national and international spotlights on UNR.
“In academics and in the university system, I want UNR to be amongst the best in the nation,” Gautam said. “Here, we have students that do so much more beyond submitting homework. They can take their ideas and put them to use and create value.”
The center’s faculty will be welcoming guests later this month.
For more information on the Innevation Center, Powered by Switch, head to unr.edu/research-and-innovation.
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Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the Innevation Center opening will be open to the public. It is instead a private opening and will not be open to the public.