In the heart of campus, strategically located next to the R.M. Cooper Library and across from the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center, a new building is taking shape. It’s not tied to a particular college or department but rather designed to be an incubator of creativity and innovation.
The Watt Family Innovation Center, projected to open in the spring of 2016, has announced two new founding innovation partners: SCRA and Philips Lighting North America. SCRA, an applied research corporation with more than 30 years of experience delivering technology solutions, will provide $3 million for new cross-discipline operations and sustainability for supporting extended network and operations, including equipment to establish virtual connectivity between the Watt Family Innovation Center, SCRA Innovation Centers and research universities in the state. This commitment includes science and technology advancements, special projects and support for faculty, staff and students, curriculum and operations of the Watt Center.
“The immediate and comprehensive advancements to multi-party communications that these studios will provide will greatly contribute to and improve our state’s ‘knowledge economy,’” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “This collaboration will add value and users to the current health care industry core that is using the S.C. LightRail high-speed research network.”
Philips Lighting North America, a global leader in lighting that has been focusing on innovative ways of using light to enhance people’s lives for more than 120 years, has made a cash gift to support research related to Philips Lighting technology and a gift-in-kind of state-of-the-art lighting products to equip and furnish the interior and exterior of the Watt Center.
“Working in isolation is never as effective as collaboration,” said Amy Huntington, president of Philips Lighting Americas. “We believe that great partnerships encourage great results. That’s why we’re pleased to have had the opportunity to support the Watt Family Innovation Center. … I know that the work and the programs supported by the Watt Family Innovation Center will make a meaningful impact and ensure a bright future for generations to come.”