Transportation is one of the pillars of the South Carolina economy. It is vital for businesses such as BMW, Boeing, Michelin, the Port of Charleston, and a host of smaller companies that supply these economic drivers of the state. These companies directly and indirectly employ thousands of South Carolinians, in addition to providing the state with much of its tax base, and thus, their success is crucial to the future of the state. To support these businesses and attract new ones to the state, an efficient multimodal transportation system is needed in South Carolina.
This is why a consortium of the five higher education universities and colleges in South Carolina, with the collaboration of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), has banded together to establish of a Tier 1 University Transportation Center. The resources from such a center ($1.5 million per year for five years) have enabled the South Carolina team to make a major leap ahead in its efforts to further transportation research, and promote education and workforce development. The center will form partnerships with industries in South Carolina and provide the incubation platform of a business ecosystem around the topic of connected multimodal transportation technologies to grow the economy of our state.
The center, C²M² will not only conduct research; it will:
- Form collaboration with diverse public and private organizations in South Carolina and establish an incubation platform for a connected transportation systems centered business ecosystem.
- Establish a strong education and workforce development program, and a host of outreach programs focused on South Carolina students from elementary schools to doctoral programs, as well as industry professionals. These programs will kindle enthusiasm and develop skills in the field of technology focused multimodal transportation.
- Develop all activities with special focus on diversity and serving underserved populations who may not otherwise participate in this dynamic field.
- Disseminate the results, sharing innovative solutions across the state, nation, and the world.