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This article provided some new insight into the extend of the new research campus to be built at USC.


A USC research campus holds the promise of contributing to theMidlands economy across multiple sectors.

Plans call for the campus to stretch from Assembly and College streets west and south to the Congaree River. Construction of the first building at the Arnold School of Public Health should get under way this summer.

The research campus is expected to take 10 to 15 years to build. A significant portion is likely to be devoted to health sciences activities, but the campus will not have a single theme, said Harris Pastides, vice president for research at USC.

USC has identified four research areas around which the campus will be developed, Pastides said. They are:

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  • 7 months later...

S.C. is on a role, with the USC research park and Clemsons ICAR research park. I think corporations will look at the state alot closer now and hopefully relocate more buisnesses to the state. Do you think USC and Clemson could possibly become partners in reseach someday.

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Here is one of the original articles that I saw that initially disscussed the possible impact this development would have on the area (ie "Cola is to hydrogen as Houston is to oil").

Hydrogen energy heats up

Fuel cell research expected to power growth at USC and in Columbia area


Business Editor

Fuel cell research could do for USC and Columbia what semiconductor research did for the University of Texas and Austin over the past two decades.

In the 1980s, Austin and the University of Texas attracted the Microelectronics and Computers Technology Corp. consortium and SEMATECH, the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology consortium.

The result was explosive growth and the Texas capital's emergence, along with Silicon Valley, as one of the nation's premier locations for high-tech industries. By 1993, more than 20 major firms had located in Austin.

USC and industry officials believe the same thing could happen in Columbia, with Monday's formal announcement that the National Science Foundation has chosen the university as the nation's first Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells.

"The industry consortia that I have seen formed in other states typically creates a critical mass," said John Goodman, chairman of the fuel cell center's industry advisory board.

"Companies that want to benefit from the research, the access to faculty and to the students coming to the university, tend to migrate toward that critical mass," he said.

National Science Foundation funding for the center will total $210,000 over three years. Eleven initial industry partners will add an additional $1.2 million.

Fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to create a chemical reaction that produces electricity. The only emission is water vapor.

A lot of attention has been given recently to automobiles powered by fuel cells. But USC has been involved in fuel cell research for years.

"In fact, USC was involved in fuel cells, before fuel cells were cool." said Harris Pastides, interim vice president for research at USC.

The potential impact of fuel cells has been likened to that of semiconductors.

When SEMATECH was formed in Austin, "That city went from a very nice place to live, a nice city, to really one of the major cores of semiconductor research in the country," Goodman said.

Goodman, whose company, Entegris, is located in Minnesota, was in Columbia on Monday to take part in the announcement. Entegris serves the microelectronics industry. Its customers are companies that make fuel cells.

"I would expect that as the programs here advance, we would see a similar desire by industry to locate near that source of talent and source of intellectual property."

USC president Andrew Sorensen hopes to persuade industries involved in the center to locate in Columbia. He wants them to partner with the university to build facilities for the center on a new university research campus.

Many of those are national or international companies such as BASF, DANA Corp., W.L. Gore Associates, Showa Denko, and CD adapco Group.

Goodman said his experience with the National Science Foundation research center for microelectronics leads him to believe the USC center can be successful.

Intel and IBM, both household names today, are two of the partners in the microelectronics center, Goodman noted.

"The reality is, when you look at fuel cells, we don't yet know who the IBMs and Intels will be. One of the things I would bet on is that companies that come together and do collaborative research like we do at this center are going to be among the leading companies as we move to the hydrogen future," he said.

The center's mission is to help industry advance technology and commercialization of fuel cells by performing research, said John Van Zee, the USC professor named director of the center.

That mission is accomplished by educating students, Van Zee said.

"It is important that we educate these students, not for tomorrow, not in technology, but in the basic science which will allow them to make contributions 30 years from now in this emerging technology."

Edited by The_sandlapper
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  • 4 weeks later...

If you are referring to the "Hardees block" construction has not started.

I have, however, seen numerous people who have heard President Sorenson speak over the Spring say that he has indicated that construction will begin this summer.

Originally Sorensen stated that construction would begin in February...so who knows??

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Okay... I just had to add this in here. I've been saying this building has GOT TO GO for a long time. Good call, Sorensen! :) Now, if we can just do something about that Holiday Inn we'll be in buisness down there.

USC likely to raze Carolina Plaza


The University of South Carolina is considering demolishing the 14-story Carolina Plaza in downtown Columbia.

USC president Andrew Sorensen could make a decision very soon about the Assembly Street landmark that has been empty for six months, a university spokesman said.

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I'm will be glad to see the Carolina Plaza razed as it is a prime example of crappy '70's architecture.

I was surprised to see that Cola and Richland County are picking up the tab for the Research campus garages. They are going to be needed, but that is a lot of money. Both will probably have to raise property taxes to pay for them. City residents will get a double whammy.

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