Governor McMaster Joined by South Carolina Officials and German Delegation for SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

(Columbia, SC) South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster commemorated the formal inauguration of the South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the state house on October 31.

The Governor was joined by a German delegation that included Dr. Volker Wissing, Minister of Economic Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viniculture Rhineland Palatinate and Dr. Hans Dieter Rombach, Chairman of the Science & Innovation Alliance Kaiserslautern (SIAK). Knudt Flor, President of BMW Manufacturing and Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce also joined Governor McMaster at the podium. Stefanie Ziska, President & CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta Office moderated.

The event marked a milestone for the South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance as it continues to build collaborations on a statewide, national, and international scale.

Announced as an official alliance in May 2019, the South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance (Alliance) is a collaborative effort between the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering (CESE) in Maryland. Fraunhofer USA CESE in Maryland works closely with the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Fraunhofer IESE is located in Rhineland-Palatinate, which has been South Carolina’s German sister-state for more than 20 years.

While the Alliance was created to advance applied research in engineering and technology throughout South Carolina with the Fraunhofer USA CESE and in-state research institutions, it also furthers the research and cultural connection with the state’s German counterpart.

To date, there are five projects underway or recently completed under the new SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance. One of the first research projects supported by the Alliance was a collaboration between the University of South Carolina, Fraunhofer USA, and two South Carolina firms – Datos Technologies and G&P Trucking. The project developed a cloud-based platform to offer a variety of services to South Carolina logistics companies using data from Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and external big data systems. The end result was a comprehensive tool for improved competitive advantages through resource optimization and cost reduction.

Other Alliance research projects include a telehealth project with the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Department of Corrections; a recently completed collaborate robotics project between Clemson University and BMW; an internet of things project between Clemson University, Francis Marion University and the Bicycle Corporation of America; and a wire harness automation project between the University of South Carolina and Safran that has recently moved into a new phase of research.

As the South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance continues to grow, the research it supports and the resulting innovation will help raise South Carolina’s national and international profile as a leading provider of industry research and technology.

Quotes:

“Businesses today rely on a strategy of research and development. The South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance allows businesses to take full advantage of the kind of results that come from the exchange of knowledge that comes from collaboration particularly on an international scope like this.”

Dr. Volker Wissing, Minister of Economic Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viniculture Rhineland Palatinate

“The friendship between our states and cities was the foundation of the Alliance. We’ve been working at this for several years and we now have a unique setup to help reach our ultimate goal to transform research in the state. With the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering in Maryland as an intermediary, we are well positioned to exchange ideas and students and faculty from well-known research entities from both sides of the Atlantic.”

Dr. Hans Dieter Rombach, Chairman of the Science & Innovation Alliance Kaiserslautern (SIAK

 

“The Alliance is a special initiative and this is a very special moment today. To be able to take theory and bring it into practice is good for business. As a manufacturing state, we position ourselves for growth when research and development leads to the application of key technologies. This leads to real results for real companies with real jobs and real growth.”

Knudt Flor, President of BMW Manufacturing

 

“We’re bringing together highly talented people from research and business to take on challenges and apply solutions. This gives South Carolina a unique advantage as we’re able to take advantage of the expertise of researchers from two great cultures and from all of our state’s research institutions to solve today’s problems now.”

Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce

 

“With this alliance in place there are infinite possibilities ahead of us to build on our manufacturing strengths with new innovation. To have collaboration, cooperation, and innovation on an international level such as this can be a model for the country in the pursuit of excellence in research and development.”

Governor Henry McMaster