A new report from the American Jobs Project outlines how Wyoming could become an economic leader in carbon technology. That includes developing activated carbon, graphene – a type of metal – carbon foam, and nanotubes. Those are materials that go into home insulations, concrete, and transmission lines.
The organization is a non-profit that researches how states can develop energy technology, and its report says Wyoming is in a strong position considering its mineral assets.
But Kate Ringness, co-director of American Jobs Project, said the state would need to develop the right infrastructure to foster development in the high-tech industry.
“One, is creating more international relationships to draw companies and other international universities. Other ideas would be to create a fund of funds, to make it easier for those start-ups to be able to start their businesses in Wyoming and grow them in Wyoming,” Ringness said.
And pushing educated youth to stay and work in Wyoming. Ringness said the Hathaway scholarship could change to benefit students who stay and work in the state, for example.
The report predicts carbon technology could produce 2,600 jobs around the state every year with the right changes. It looks from now until 2035 to reach that number. Those jobs would include scientists, engineers, mechanics, and technicians.
Ringness added part of the opportunity within carbon technology is that it’s still young.
“No other state has really started developing a competitive advantage in this technology. Wyoming is ahead of the curve here,” she said.
But it’s not a simple proposition to get there. The report outlines necessary transitions: policy changes, a push to keep educated people in Wyoming, and new funds focused on entrepreneurship. The report does not look at enhanced oil recovery.