Do we need Govt to Fund Technology? [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

: Do we need Govt to Fund Technology?

Gerry Clinchy
05-12-2012, 04:29 PM
Scientists plan $1b ghost town

A $1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County near Hobbs, officials said Tuesday, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets.

Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said the unique research facility that looks like an empty city will be a key for diversifying the economy of the nearby community, which after the oil bust of the 1980s saw bumper stickers asking the last person to leave to turn out the lights.

Bob Brumley, senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, (one of the developers of the project) said the town will be modeled after the real city of Rock Hill, S.C., complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new. No one will live there, although they could as houses will include all the necessities, like appliances and plumbing.

The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars.

Brumley said plans are to break ground on the town by June 30. The initial development cost is estimated at $400 million, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top $1 billion.

The project is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect jobs in its design, development, construction and ongoing operational phases.

Hmmm ... private sector is only interested in researching things people might actually want to buy. New Mexico would also seem a favorable location for alternative energy research. And it might turn out to be cheaper than Solyndra's escapade.

Presumably, the developers would "rent" the facility to companies who want to develop or test products like those mentioned in the article.

Shame on them ... spending all this money just to make a profit. And just coincidentally create some jobs and implement the development of innovative products that will grow the economy.