Applied Innovation Center for Advanced Analytics at the Desert Research Institute

In 2013, The Desert Research Institute (DRI) was awarded $3 million by the Knowledge Fund to create the Applied Innovation Center for Advanced Analytics (AICAA). Many industry analysts, economists, and scientists are projecting a global upheaval in advanced data collection and analysis to support intelligent systems. The impact on business and industry is expected to be dramatic and pervasive, redefining competitive advantages and creating a high demand within the technology industry for skilled data practitioners.

Building on existing expertise in data analysis and information technology at DRI, the AICAA will create a critical mass of experts in new knowledge technologies to help differentiate regional businesses and attract new ones.

The newly constituted AICAA will partner with businesses to help translate scientific ideas into practical solutions using a fee-based business model called contract innovation services. The AICAA will serve businesses within and outside Nevada, while demonstrating a viable alternative to financial sustainability for public research institutions such as  DRI. AICAA will work with established companies as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs. AICAA will specialize in one of the highest growth areas for technological innovation and economic impact: information technology and, in particular, data science and engineering for intelligent systems and operations.

Data science and engineering have applications extending to all aspects of human and environmental conditions. New approaches to data-driven intelligence are being referred to as “big data” and are expected to be prime drivers of technological disruption and economic impact. Pervasive instrumentation of natural resources and critical infrastructures require new approaches to massive data collection and analysis, solutions that are still being defined and invented. Many of the fundamental technologies that will contribute to these new applications are at the core of DRI’s expertise; they include sensor networks, automation, virtual prototyping, prediction and simulation.

The AICAA will expand upon the existing resources within the Center for
Advanced Visualization, Computation and Modeling (CAVCaM) at DRI, which currently specializes in High Performance Computing, Advanced Visualization and Data Analysis. The existing Center has new computing resources for analysis and modeling, a state-of-the-art virtual reality facility for virtual prototyping and a 3D printer for physical prototyping.

The basis of the AICAA involves integration of the computational disciplines and their associated technologies:

  1. Data Analysis: data acquisition, communication, processing, analytics and management
  2. Cyber‐physical Systems (CPS): real-time stream processing, sensor-actuator networks, time-frequency analysis and control solutions
  3. High Performance Computing (HPC):  simulation, predictive analysis, scientific applications, code parallelization and performance and custom software development
  4. Advanced Visualization and Prototyping:  graphics programming, visual analytics, virtual reality, virtual prototyping and 3D printing

AICAA will build an external focus on development of commercially relevant solutions to real-world problems by offering the full resource of DRI’s research and development services to both private and public sector clients.

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