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President highlights University's collaboration in State's economic development

University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson, on the Quad

Sometimes it's evident, but often it may be less visible. Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that the University of Nevada, Reno is essential to and intertwined with economic development efforts and programs throughout our region and the Silver State.

On KUNR's Beyond the Headlines, President Marc Johnson discussed the university's vital and growing collaborations and initiatives aimed at boosting area economic growth and diversity. 

President Johnson discussed recent initiatives that exemplify the university’s commitment, including:

  • This fall will see the opening of the University of Nevada, Reno Innovation Center in downtown Reno at 450 Sinclair Street, across the street from the Discovery Museum. The university is acquiring the building from the City of Reno through a multi-year lease-to-purchase agreement. The Innovation Center is an example of the strong working relationship in place between the City and the university.
  • The State-established Knowledge Fund, which is administered by the Governor's Office of Economic Development, has awarded a $3 million grant to the university to support development of  research and innovation relative to Unmanned Autonomous Systems, commonly referred to as drones (nonmilitary). Much of this work will be housed in the Innovation Center downtown.
  • University collaboration with the City also includes joint master planning now under way that will shape the future of the campus, the community and area transportation.
  • The university hosts a member of the Governor’s Office on Economic Development on campus.
  • Nevada Industry Excellence recently located on campus (from the Nevada System of Higher Education), marking another strong collaboration in the economic development arena.
  • Heidi Gansert, executive director of external affairs, supports economic development and is a point person for business.
  • This past year the university brought on Mridul Gautum as vice president, research and innovation, who is central to the university's economic development commitment. The role was formerly “vice president, research,” and the addition of “and innovation” signals the new direction for this role.
  • The university works closely with the Economic Development Authority for Western Nevada (EDAWN).

Interviewed by David Stipech; broadcast August 8, 2014.
More information about the University of Nevada, Reno.

David Stipech is a former general manager at KUNR Public Radio.
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