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Analytics leader is Watt Center founding innovation partner

Emily Baranello, vice president for education practice at SAS, spoke during the announcement of the SAS Clemson partnership.

Emily Baranello, vice president for education practice at SAS, spoke during the announcement of the SAS Clemson partnership.

 

Clemson’s research goals and thousands of students and professors have gained a powerful ally — analytics leader SAS. Through a new educational partnership, SAS and Clemson will provide research, software, services and funding to the Watt Family Innovation Center.

Thanks to the new partnership, professors, students and researchers can access and apply advanced SAS Analytics, business intelligence, cybersecurity and data management software toward that mission. SAS also provides teaching materials, onsite faculty and staff training and helps develop analytical programs.

Professors will be able to easily integrate SAS software into coursework, giving students hands-on experience with this highly marketable skill. In fact, a study of 54 million employee profiles on PayScale.com identified “Knowledge of SAS” as the No. 1 career skill that translates into salary bumps.

The Watt Center promotes student engagement, interactive learning and partnership with industry and government. SAS was recognized in March as the sixth Founding Innovation Partner for the Watt Center, joining Comporium Inc., Haworth Inc., Philips Lighting, Scientific Research Corporation and SCRA.

“The Watt Family Innovation Center is a unique educational facility that quickly has become invaluable to our students and faculty and one of the most innovative in the nation,” said President Clements. “This partnership with SAS, a leader in innovative software solutions, will allow us to better serve our University community, and we are very appreciative of their generous support of Clemson’s mission.”

“The Watt Center brings together students, faculty and industry in a hothouse for learning and research,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “With data and analytics at the heart of innovation today, that means Clemson can generate more of the talent in high demand worldwide.”

Planar, Dell team up with Watt Center as Sustaining Partners

Clemson University professor Saadiqa Kumanyika

Clemson University professor Saadiqa Kumanyika, a lecturer teaching Women in Global Perspective, works with one of the classroom touch screens in the Watt Family Innovation Center that were provided by Planar. (Photo by Ken Scar)

Planar and Dell have become the first two Sustaining Innovation Partners for the Watt Family Innovation Center. Sustaining Innovation Partners provide $1 million or more in support for the Watt Center. Planar, a Leyard company and global leader in display and digital signage technology, supplied the Watt Center with 191 large-format, high-resolution interactive LCD displays and 12 LCD video walls, including the video wall in the auditorium. It is one of the largest interactive LCD video walls the company has implemented.

Planar displays are front and center in the building’s ultra-modern main lobby. Each classroom, hallway and study space throughout the building features Planar LCD displays that can be used by students and teachers for formal or spontaneous collaboration.

Dell, a global computing company, is supporting the Watt Center through a five-year technology grant that will help students, faculty and staff use cutting-edge technology to create and collaborate in the center. Dell will provide deeply discounted equipment software and services to empower innovation and collaboration by students, faculty and staff.

The Watt Center was designed to be an innovative hub where students, faculty and industry partners will collaborate, create, innovate and communicate using state-of-the-art technology and interactive learning systems. Both gifts were part of the Will to Lead for Clemson campaign, launched in 2006 in support of students, faculty, facilities and engaged learning. The campaign surpassed the goal of $1 billion in July.

Comporium Inc. partners with Watt Family Innovation Center

The Watt Family Innovation Center

The Watt Family Innovation Center

An innovative South Carolina-based telecommunications company is partnering with the new Watt Family Innovation Center to transform student lives and campus academics. Comporium Inc. has pledged $3 million in financial support and in-kind products and services to the Watt Center and will be a Founding Innovation Partner in the new facility that fosters collaborative research activities, product use and demonstration, and philanthropic support.

“It is wonderful to have another South Carolina-based company on board as a Founding Innovation Partner for this incredible facility,” said President Clements. “Comporium is a world-class leader in telecommunications, and I am grateful for their support.”

Headquartered in Rock Hill, Comporium Inc. is a diversified telecommunications company that embraces innovation to provide voice, video, data, wireless and security products and services. Clemson’s faculty, staff and students historically have collaborated and partnered with Comporium in academic and research areas related to a wide spectrum of interest and business operations. This new relationship centers on a multi-faceted engagement that includes philanthropic support of students, faculty, equipment and operations in the new center.

“Comporium sees a great value in educating students in real-world collaboration to take a technologically advanced idea to the development of a practical application,” said Comporium President and CEO Bryant Barnes ’76. “We believe that the center’s role in fostering entrepreneurship and leadership with an emphasis in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) will serve the citizens of South Carolina. The Watt Center enables the connectivity of the Technology Incubator at Knowledge Park in Rock Hill and others to this network.”

Charles Watt, executive director of the Watt Center, said, “We are excited that Comporium has joined our elite level of Founding Innovation Partners. It is an outstanding family-owned company with corporate operations in Rock Hill.

“Since its original chartering in 1894, it has embraced delivery of innovative products and services that are provided in its telephones, data centers and connected security systems. The company has received numerous national, state, county and local awards for excellence in the telecommunications industry and for its contributions to academic and community activities in South Carolina.”

The Comporium gift is part of the $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign.

For more about the Watt Family Innovation Center, see the feature story in this CW Spring 2016.