Notes From UALR’s Emerging Analytics Announcement
AEDC director Grant Tennille displays one of the new screens at UALR's Emerging Analytics Center. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kordsmeier, AEDC)
Big data came to Little Rock on Monday.
UALR announced the opening of its George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center.
UALR officials hailed the data visualization technology the center will house as “one of a kind in the world.”
Local businesses will be able to reserve time in the facility for an as-yet-to-be-determined fee. And of course, the facility — which takes up the fourth floor of the Engineering & Information Technology Building — will be used by UALR students.
Mary Good, noted scientist and UALR’s in-house economic development advisor, will run the center. She believes the EAC will attract students to UALR.
A local tech business owner (and an IA client) who attended Monday’s shindig said he thought the center could not only attract “40 to 50″ new students a year to UALR, but help create a high-tech, high-paying job pipeline from EAC to local businesses.
Read more about the EAC here. Here’s some notes from the event, which included Gov. Mike Beebe, AEDC director Grant Tennille, UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson, UA System President Don Bobbitt and an auditorium full of local business leaders:
- The center was funded through a $5 million grant from the Donaghey Foundation. Good said the Donaghey board wanted the money to fund something special, a “game changer.” Good wanted to build on an area where UALR already had some “real expertise.” UALR officials had worked with Mechdyne in the past, and after some shopping around determined that it was the only company who could build the center’s sophisticated systems.
- Good said the center will support a Master’s of Information Quality degree in partnership with MIT, the only program of its kind in the U.S.
- The state provided $1.5 million from the governor’s quick action closing fund to finish out the fourth floor and provide a home for the center.
- The industry that will immediately benefit from the center’s technology will be construction, Good said. She said the center will enable businesses to do things faster, better and more efficiently.
- Good said the higher screen resolution and the tech’s ability to handle huge data sets represent the center’s true technological leap.
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