Friday, August 26, 2005

To everything there is a season, a time to plant ...

Several years ago, the Clemson International Center for Automotive Research was founded on the idea that a partnership between industry and academia could be created that attracted world-class talent to both industry and the university. This pool of talent would attract a cluster of other related knowledge-based enterprises.

Initially, BMW and Michelin partnered with Clemson in ICAR. Professor Tom Kurfess has been named to the BMW Chair in Automotive Manufacturing and will serve as director of the Carroll A. Campbell Graduate Engineering Center, heading the Clemson-ICAR graduate program in automotive engineering.

This theory that attracting a preeminent scholar would attract other knowledge assets has now passed the test. Recently The Timken Company announced that it will locate research and development facilities at ICAR and bring up to 110 jobs to the S.C. Upstate over the next two years.

Timken has a long time relationship with Dr. Kurfess. Timken at ICAR "will allow Kurfess to continue a long-time research relationship with the company. He came to Clemson from Georgia Tech, where he worked closely with the Timken research and development team in Norcross, Ga., and in Canton, Ohio."

A lot of people have asked if ICAR would really work—if we could in fact build knowledge based cluster here. Timken's announcement demonstrates that in fact ICAR is working as planned.

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