- Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center is facing a personnel crisis after Uber lured away 40 of its top researchers and scientists.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber was supposed to be a partner to NREC in the development of driverless car technology, but now the car-sharing app creator has its own tech center right down the street in Pittsburgh.
- NREC lost more than $10 million in research funding, its director, and key program directors, according to the article, and it is faced with the immediate need to raise salaries to compete and prevent further losses.
Carnegie Mellon University has long been home to one of the top robotics programs in the U.S. As The Wall Street Journal reports, it is one of the only places in the world where a student can earn a Ph.D. in the field. Now, a prospective student interested in studying robotics may think twice about whether Carnegie Mellon is the best option.
Will Uber's presence in Pittsburgh create opportunities for industry collaboration or simply remove the best minds from the university? The Wall Street Journal reports the "partnership" between the two entities still could benefit the university, but the financial impact of Uber's poaching is significant on its own. Even more serious are the intellectual losses, which will be felt for years to come as NREC struggles to refill its talent pool.