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Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC)


The SILVER Spark for Nevada: Sustainable Innovation Leading a Vital Economic Renaissance

Nevada. A State of stark contrasts, with historic booms and devastating busts experienced throughout its modern history. A State frequently forced to reinvent itself as ever-evolving circumstances have demanded. A State that has been driven to the edge time after time and, yet again and again, has managed to discover another way to prosper. A State that now finds itself in a precarious position as the “Great Recession” hit it harder than any other and has left it struggling to recover.

As you will conclude by reading The SILVER Spark, Nevada can successfully build a globally-competitive economic engine based on innovation and entrepreneurship through the commercialization of research, discovery, and development. It will, however, require changes in how the State operates, by uniting the many competing visions, missions and goals found statewide. Although the seventh largest state geographically, Nevada is only the thirty-fifth most populous state in the Union. So it must also find a unique way to focus its admittedly stretched resources on a strategic set of priorities to successfully diversify its economy.

The ‘SILVER’ Spark proposes an approach to do exactly what so many across the State have suggested must be done for so long—transform the State’s legacy economy and create new-economy jobs. It advocates the application of sustainable innovation to lead a vital economic renaissance through the following three major transformational actions:

  • Drive more public and private innovation in the State.
  • Improve the State-wide commercialization ecosystem.
  • Accelerate entrepreneurial activity throughout Nevada.

Nevada is uniquely Nevadan.

From its world-class gaming facilities to its innovative laboratories, Nevada is still a place where dreams can become reality. Nevada itself is collectively a gigantic open source laboratory. It is a place where a scientific theory, an educated hypothesis or sometimes little more than conjecture can change everything in a spark.

It is time for Nevada to reclaim its innovation brand!


Clean energy industries; Economic development; Entrepreneurship; Green technology; Nevada; Public-private sector cooperation; Recessions; Renewable energy sources; Sustainability


Business | Economic Policy | Economics | Environmental Policy | Environmental Sciences | Growth and Development | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Sustainability | Work, Economy and Organizations




Report commissioned by the Nevada Commission on Economic Development

Attached file: Executive Summary

NIREC_Report-ExecutiveSummary_Mar2011.pdf (508 kB)
Executive Summary: SILVER Spark