Clemson University and Innovate Anderson, a public-private partnership with the mission of growing Anderson County’s economy, will foster economic development by working jointly to attract high-technology, knowledge-based research-and-development organizations to the region.
Innovate Anderson and Clemson will coordinate economic development and marketing activities, and activities related to real estate and property management at the site.
Butch Hughes, chairman of the board of Innovate Anderson, said the agreement is a joint effort between Clemson University, Anderson County and Innovate Anderson to attract research companies and drive economic growth.
The Clemson research park is ideally located in Anderson County close to Clemson University, enabling companies to partner with Clemson’s world-renowned faculty, students and staff, Hughes said.
“When the opportunity arose for Innovate Anderson to acquire this campus it was envisioned as a linchpin for building a stronger relationship between Anderson County and Clemson University,” Hughes said. “The goal is to foster economic development in Anderson County and surrounding areas while underscoring Clemson University’s status as a top research university.
“The MOU is another step toward solidifying that relationship and fulfilling those goals,” Hughes said.
Karl Kelly, director of commercialization and technology incubation at Clemson, said the university’s Advanced Materials Research Laboratory means the university has a sound foundation at the research park.
Existing research and development of biotechnology, sustainable environment and related engineering and sciences are a foundation for fruitful public-private partnerships, he said.
He pointed to Hitachi High Technologies America Inc., which in October last year partnered with Clemson to house one of the world’s most-advanced electron microscopes at the laboratory. Hitachi chose Clemson for the first university installation of the Hitachi NanoDuet NB5000 Focused Ion and Electron Beam System.
The agreement with Innovate Anderson will further partnership opportunities at all existing entities at the park, Kelly said. They include:
The Information Technology Center, which is the sixth-largest supercomputing site for academic institutions in the U.S.;
Clemson Computing and Information Technology (CCIT), which provides diversified computing services and resources available to private industry; and
The L.G. Rich Environmental Laboratories (Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences), which provides research programs in environmental systems, toxicology and pollution prevention.
“Clemson University has a long history of hugely successful collaborations at its economic development centers across South Carolina,” Kelly said. “This agreement with Innovate Anderson will see those success stories repeated in Anderson County.
“There are world-class facilities at the Anderson research park that will attract a wide array of innovative companies,” Kelly said.
Not every community can boast a top electron microscopy laboratory facility for secured or classified research located right around the corner from a high-caliber research university, said Steve Kirven, Anderson City Council member.
“We have a unique proposition for entrepreneurs, startups and existing companies looking to locate their businesses in this area,” Kirven said. “Marketing and developing this 265-acre campus as a joint effort should prove an exciting and fruitful venture providing beneficial results far into the future.”