2012 annual report highlights growth of CU-ICAR
GREENVILLE — With twice the alumni and more than three-times the number of research partners than a year ago, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) continues to be the benchmark for economic development and a go-to venue for industry events.
CU-ICAR’s 2012 annual report details the continued growth and success of Clemson’s automotive research campus.
The report is available at http://cuicar.com/report/cuicarfinal.pdf.
In less than a decade, CU-ICAR as become a model for economic development: More than $250 million in public and private investments, and more than 700 jobs created. CU-ICAR has 17 campus partners and hosted 1,600 guests during fiscal year 2011.
The number of alumni of its automotive engineering programs jumped from 30 in fiscal year 2010 to 72, while the number of faculty and research partners during the same period jumped by 66 percent and 209 percent, respectively.
CU-ICAR also hosted or co-sponsored leading industry events, including the second annual International Automotive Transatlantic Summit, the SAE Heavy Truck Handling Symposium and the S.C. Automotive Council Annual Summit.
Suzanne Dickerson, CU-ICAR’s director of international business development, said the success of the campus reflects Upstate South Carolina’s national reputation for economic development and public-private partnerships.
CU-ICAR is located in one of the most supportive business communities in the country, Dickerson said. She referred to comments from automotive colleagues in other states who say they often hear how well the government, academic, non-governmental and business entities in South Carolina work together.
“The community spirit we enjoy here is vital to our success,” Dickerson said. “CU-ICAR’s reputation is strengthened by the success of our partners and business relationships the region enjoys.”
The strength of those relationships was underscored in May when CU-ICAR opened the Center for Emerging Technologies, the first multitenant building at the campus.
Located at the heart of CU-ICAR, the center provides office, administrative and laboratory space for the transportation, technology and energy sectors.
Emerging or established companies are able to expand and develop technologies that complement research of Clemson faculty and students. The center is designed to complete the technology chain from laboratory to the consumer end-user.
More than a dozen companies and groups are established in the 60,000-square-foot center, including Sage Automotive Interiors, a spinoff company started by former employees of Milliken and Co. who purchased the company’s automotive fabric division. The company occupies approximately 16,000 square feet of space in the center.
But what truly drives CU-ICAR are its students. During this new academic year, CU-ICAR will enroll a record number of students at the Carroll A. Campbell Graduate Engineering Center.
Under the guidance of Imtiaz Haque, founding chairman and executive director of the Campbell Center, nearly 200 students will learn and share ideas as part of some of the nation’s leading automotive-related advanced degree programs.
Approximately 44 percent of CU-ICAR’s 70-plus alumni now work for leading automotive and technology companies located in South Carolina. Dickerson said that is testament to the state’s growing knowledge-based economy and the demand for educated talent.