In "Michigan needs to look south", in the Detroit News, columnist Daniel Howes looks at how the Carolinas are working to partner higher education with cutting-edge manufacturing technology development, and in doing so, is leaving Detroit behind.
The business-and-political establishment of the Carolinas is doing what their counterparts in Michigan and here on Mackinac Island are only beginning to comprehend amid a gloomy fiscal outlook: Leveraging the power of higher education drives economic growth, attracts foreign and domestic investment and improves the caliber of would-be employees.
More about Clemson's ICAR facility:
Now, it's Clemson University in South Carolina -- not the University of Michigan -- that is home to the International Center for Automotive Research, a 200-acre campus that BMW AG built for $100 million and donated to Clemson.
CU-ICAR is a new model for economic development in South Carolina, matching Clemson's strengths in automotive research with the state's strong automotive economic cluster. CU-ICAR is a 250-acre "technopolis" where BMW, Michelin, Timken, Sun Microsystems and other corporate partners are joining with Clemson to focus on automotive and motorsports research and other transportation issues. The State of South Carolina is also a key partner, having created legislation to support economic development and innovation.
At Clemson's ICAR, the latest news includes Computational Center for Mobility Systems, featuring a high performance computing (HPC) system from Sun Microsystems which will allow the center to perform cutting-edge product development for the automotive, aerospace and shipping industries, as well as the soon-to-open Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Graduate Engineering Center, which will allow Clemson to grant the first Masters and Doctoral degrees in Automotive Engineering.
This is big news indeed, and a heck of an achievement for the academic, business and governmental team partners who made this vision a reality. Also one more good reason why we need to reassess the structure and missions of our state's higher and technical education systems, so Clemson and USC can focus more aggressively in these areas.