Initiative on the Sharing Economy awards discovery grants

One of the new projects will develop an app that aggregates search results from multiple ridesharing platforms.One of the new projects will develop an app that aggregates search results from multiple ridesharing platforms. Photo: Shutterstock The University of Minnesota’s Initiative on the Sharing Economy has awarded its first discovery grants to two new projects.

These grants aim to support transdisciplinary partnerships and collaborative research by U of M faculty and researchers on themes related to the sharing economy, especially shared mobility and shared transportation.

In the first newly funded project, researchers will map sharing economy opportunities in both urban and rural areas. This will include identifying where sharing economy services have the greatest likelihood of success, what conditions are necessary to support them at a local level, and how this economic activity can benefit people who now rarely participate in it. The team will be led by Tom Fisher, director of the Minnesota Design Center, and include Mary Vogel, Minnesota Design Center, and Fernando Burga, Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The second project aims to quantify and improve market efficiency in app-based ridesharing. After measuring the economic efficiency of the ridesharing market, researchers plan to develop and test an app that aggregates search results from multiple ridesharing platforms in a user’s location. Potential benefits include reducing the time users spend searching for ridesharing options and maximizing their choice. The project will be led by Ravi Bapna and Gordon Burtch of the Carlson School of Management. 

The Initiative on the Sharing Economy was established by CTS in partnership with Professor Saif Benjaafar, the Initiative’s director, and other faculty members across the U. It is administered by CTS.


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