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Understanding Research, Science and Technology Parks: Global Best Practices, Report of a Symposium
all the world’s citizens.” During this time of economic uncertainty, he said, both institutions recognize that their work together is more critical than ever. Concrete solutions to such global issues as renewable energy, safe food supplies, climate change, disease prevention and treatment, and even security are likely to be found on campuses through science and technology advancement, and in many cases in S&T parks.
THE ADVANTAGE OF COLLABORATION
There will always be “eureka moments” from solitary researchers working alone in a lab, he said, but we are now discovering that collaboration can be a tremendous competitive advantage. He said that Clemson has worked hard to make collaboration a part of campus culture. In this climate, the Clemson University-International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) has been established on a 250-acre campus to create opportunities for collaboration. Designers have intentionally created a “high-density campus” so that researchers from university and industry could not help running into each other: They share parking structures, workout facilities, and eating establishments. “It is a physical manifestation of a core Clemson belief—which is that innovation is a contact sport.” A result is that the intersection of university and industry accelerates the transfer of research to the marketplace.
President Barker gave some of the context for Clemson’s collaborative culture. The university was founded in the 19th century and named after a man from Philadelphia named Thomas Green Clemson—an engineer, scientist, artist, and musician educated in Paris. He served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and, in Washington, he met and fell in love with the daughter of statesman John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. He returned with her to her home, which is today a part of the Clemson University campus. He worked to establish a university that would restore the weakened Civil War economy by providing advanced education and scientific experimentation in agriculture and engineering. At his death he left his land, home, and personal fortune to support the founding of Clemson University, writing in his will: “I trust that I do not exaggerate the importance of such an institution for developing the material resources of the state.” The university, then, was founded specifically as a driver of economic development.
A UNIVERSITY COMMITMENT TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
For 120 years Clemson has followed that vision in first serving the state’s key industries of agriculture, textiles, and ceramics, and more recently sectors such as automotive, advanced materials, and biotechnology. In the 21st century, CU-ICAR is a physical manifestation of Clemson’s commitment to economic development through innovation. Four years ago, CU-ICAR was 250 acres of undeveloped land along the I-85 corridor between Charlotte and Atlanta, with