ITIC: Collaboration Drives Innovation

By Charles Richardson

There was a time, not so long ago actually, that major automotive OEM’s worked in secret on the mountaintop, designing new cars and concocting new “proprietary features” in an attempt to stay ahead of the industry and develop a competitive edge. Today, that isolating methodology has been largely replaced by a more collaborative and inclusive model that brings together a diverse cross-section of the brightest, most forward-thinking companies in the automotive world. And rather than working secretly, in discrete silos, teams of innovators work together to shepherd in revolutionary new technology that is changing the industry for the better. At the center of this new paradigm is the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC), located in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Innovative team setting the pace with wireless charging

For the past year, the ITIC partnership team has been participating in a multi-million dollar Federal grant from the Department of Energy to usher in wireless charging for next generation vehicles. Led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the team also includes major plays such as Evatran, Duke Energy, Cisco, Toyota, and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). This type of collaborative R&D and testing is the way of the future, and it requires a dynamic infrastructure—like the research and testing facilities that ITIC provides—to pull it off successfully, in a safe, secure, OEM-neutral environment.

“What impresses me most about ITIC is the inclusive environment this facility encourages. To have an infrastructure in place in Greenville that attracts such internationally recognized companies is impressive. From an economic and business development standpoint, it takes our city to the next level in the recruitment of new industry and supporting our existing manufacturing base. Not only are we known for automotive manufacturing, but also for innovative research that determines future manufacturing practices on a global scale.”

—Mike Panasko, Business Development Manager with the City of Greenville

An infrastructure that fosters transportation innovation

The goal at ITIC is to provide a leading-edge research facility that can test theoretical ideas and innovations in a real-world, test-track environment. What’s especially unique about ITIC is that it is not strictly bound to a specific research institution—it offers a safe, secure, private facility that is available to any business or organization. OEMs, research groups, and global automotive suppliers can take advantage of the comprehensive facility offerings at ITIC, making it the only one of its kind in the country. The ITIC Testing Infrastructure includes:

1) A 5,500 x 300-foot controlled asphalt straightaway, 2) a 1.5 mile concrete surface straightaway, 3) an adjacent six-block urban track with buildings and side streets to simulate city driving, and 4) 17.7 miles of multi-lane underpass/overpass interstate, including a 2-mile stretch that can be closed for secure, controlled testing.

“We are excited to be able to offer this unique, comprehensive testing facility to automotive researchers and manufacturers,” says Jody Bryson, President of SCTAC. “We have everything companies are looking for regarding the research and development testing of sustainable transportation.”

International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC)

ITIC is a global automotive testing facility and research infrastructure that promotes a secure setting for transportation innovations in an ecosystem environment—open to multiple stakeholders at the same time. Through their partnership with Clemson University International Center For Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) they provide critical access to expert knowledge and state-of-the-art labs. Located at the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center (SCTAC), ITIC allows companies to test and validate—in a real-world scenario—vehicular and networked technologies that have been conceived and developed in simulated lab environments. To learn more visit www.itic-sc.com.

ITIC-SC.COM • SCAutomotiveCouncil.com

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