The Southern Spirit of Innovation
The South's participation in the "innovation economy" includes initiatives to build R&D and boost prosperity in the region's high-tech industries.
Steve Stackhouse-Kaelble (Southern Tech Sites 2007)
(page 4 of 4)
Southern Manufacturing Technology Initiative, which includes as
partners the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)
and the Integrated Manufacturing Technology Initiative, has identified
a number of ways that NIST's Manufacturing Extension Program can help
Southern manufacturers forge ahead into the technological future:
• Use talent from engineering and business colleges to help manufacturers overcome financial and knowledge barriers.
• Create extension student internships making graduate students available to companies in various capacities.
• Hold industry-specific roundtable discussions on IT issues.
• Provide engineering assistance.
• Educate manufacturing managers about the value of innovation and technology as a strategic resource.
• Directly address the problem of cost, the top barrier to technology adoption.
clear that significant research and innovation is spearheaded by
federal and university-based institutions. But business history books
also are filled with breakthroughs resulting from private R&D
efforts. The Southern Industrial R&D Initiative was created to help
boost the South's share of the latter kind of research activity. A
number of potential actions are being discussed:
Establishment of programs to help entrepreneurs create their own
R&D facilities - Doing so can yield long-term benefits at a cost
that can be significantly lower than recruitment. Universities are
prime sources of this kind of help and surveys suggest that the vast
majority of executives would partner with universities if public funds
• Attraction of private R&D facilities, especially those from overseas
Promotion of the region's attractiveness as a location for R&D
facilities among economic developers as well as R&D executives
The provision of initial funding to create state associations in
targeted industries - An example of this kind of effort is the
Mississippi Polymer Cluster, launched to promote collaboration among
the state's polymer businesses, organizations, and initiatives.
Seeding the creation of regional technology councils to help build
support for science and technology issues, including the increase of
R&D programs - For example, Virginia has 10 multicounty regional
technology councils covering most of the state.
These are just
some of the initiatives in place or taking shape to ensure that the
Southern states are healthy participants in the "innovation economy."
Southern Nanotechnology Initiatives
- Alabama Center for Nanostructured Materials, Tuskegee University
- Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointegration, University of Alabama
- Marcus Nanotechnology Center, Georgia Tech
- Joint research ventures involving Georgia Tech, Emory, and Clark Atlanta
- Institute for Micromanufacturing, Louisiana Tech University
- Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, Louisiana State University
- Advanced Materials Research Institute, University of New Orleans
- Approximately 30 nanotechnology research, development, and education organizations at North Carolina's universities
- NanoCenter, University of South Carolina
- Joint Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
and Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Center for Nanophase Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Sciences
- High-Temperature Materials Laboratory
- Center for Self-Assembled Nanostructures and Devices, Virginia Tech
- Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Science, University of Virginia
- Nanotechnology-specific research centers at Rice University and the University of Texas in Austin, Arlington, and Dallas
- WVNano Initiative, West Virginia University