|PROPOSED INNOVATION CENTER AIMS TO BRING HIGH-TECH TO FAYETTEVILLE|
Aruba, August 8, 2016 - Fayetteville has a chance to get ahead of an emerging industrial sector and draw new, high-tech, high-paying jobs to its economy, City Councilman Kirk deViere said.
DeViere sees growing demand for computer software and products for cyber-security, health care, energy efficiency and manufacturing back office administration. State Rep. John Szoka of Cumberland County does, too, plus he wants to expand high speed internet to rural and impoverished areas.
The technology and internet expansion will be part of the fourth industrial revolution, deViere said - "the 'internet of things' and how you secure those things."
DeViere said Fayetteville can become a leader in that revolution with a project called the Innovation Center that he wants to open downtown. The Innovation Center would have a business incubator, shared "coworking" office space, a training center, a technology lab and other facilities to foster businesses seeking to exploit the opportunities the new revolution offers.
It's going to create jobs. It's going to help to grow companies," deViere said.
The world's first industrial revolution developed steam power, water power and mechanization in the late 1700s, says the World Economic Forum. This was followed with electricity, division of labor and mass production in the late 1800s, then electronics, information technology and automation in the 1960s.
The fourth industrial revolution is underway and involves a "fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres," the World Economic Forum's website says.
The jobs created by that revolution can and should come here, deViere and Szoka said.
Szoka suggested, as an example, that an entrepreneur could develop a product to help a chronically ill person who lives in a rural area.
Instead of visiting the doctor every three months for routine checks of his illness, Szoka said, the patient could get a device that monitors his symptoms and transmits the information to his doctor via a secure internet connection. The doctor then would advise the patient whether he needs in-person care or other treatment.