Members of the Holyoke Innovation Design and Development Task Force have begun to speculate on the potential economical impacts of building the upcoming HPC center. All things being equal, an HPC center of that size doesn’t require a vast army of support and operations staff. The group, tasked with working with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a quasi-public state economic development agency, to figure out exactly what the Pioneer Valley needs to do to properly harness the computing center, speculates that the site will require around 20 staff members for operations. So where do the rest of the economic development prospects come from?
They will come here, in my estimation, if we give them a reason to,” said Timothy W. Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
What if there were research tax credits for the innovation district of Holyoke?” Brennan said.
James F. Kurose, a distinguished professor of computer science and executive associate dean for the college of natural sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, hopes that the specialty computational capability found at the site will attract companies and research organizations seeking computational horsepower and research talent.
My personal hope is that downtown Holyoke can serve as a nexus, because of the talent pool, because of the high performance computing center,” Kurose said.
Unfortunately, weighing the potential economic benefits is very difficult. Garnering research attention, many times, requires years of development and financial assistance. Even then, the development activities and funding must be continually sought out in order to preserve those relationships.
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