In the summer of 2017, we made our ninth annual tour of Georgia, traveling almost 1,000 miles through 44 counties and visiting 12 cities throughout our state. We began our state tour in Brunswick, where we visited the Colonel’s Island Ro/Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off ) terminal, one of four Port of Brunswick terminals operated by the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), a key contributor to the state’s economy. Colonel’s Island is one of the nation’s busiest Ro/Ro terminals and is very impressive. When we visited with Georgia Ports Authority General Manager of Operations Bill Dawson and GPA Manager of Governmental Affairs Lee Beckmann, we had our photo made in front of one of the many massive cargo ships. I couldn’t help but think how important our transportation and logistics industry is here in Georgia.
The Industrial and Systems Engineering program at Georgia Tech has been ranked No. 1 in the country for the past 23 years, and our Supply Chain & Logistics Institute (SCL) has developed a very strong partnership with the GPA. The GPA has representatives on the Georgia Tech Coastal Georgia Board and the SCL Industry Advisory Board. In 2015, the SCL opened a location on the Georgia Tech-Savannah campus to better support the training, research, and employment needs of companies along the Georgia coast. The SCL recently conducted a Port Logistics Workshop in partnership with the GPA and provided a keynote speaker. The SCL and GPA are currently in discussion about how to expand our collaborative efforts.
As is the case for most such partnerships, collaboration is the key to success, and Georgia Tech is honored to work together with the GPA, Governor Nathan Deal’s office, and business and government throughout the state in logistics, transportation, manufacturing, and education to strengthen our state’s economy and create jobs.
Together, we’re both strengthening existing industries and creating new ones. This fall, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded nearly $20 million to a consortium of universities led by Georgia Tech to establish a new engineering research center (ERC) in the emerging field of cell manufacturing. The University System of Georgia is included in the consortium, as is the Technical College System of Georgia, which is partnering on the workforce component of the award. Together, working closely with industry and our clinical partners, we will develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable, and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells, which could revolutionize the treatment of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and other disorders by enabling broad use of potentially curative therapies that utilize living cells.
Technology Square on the Georgia Tech campus is another great example of the power of partnerships. Our new high-performance computing center, CODA, is being developed by Portman and Associates with an expected completion in early 2019. It will help take innovation and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tech Square to a whole new level.
These are just a few of the ways in which Georgia Tech is partnering with industry here in Georgia and around the world. Others include our ongoing work in numerous sophisticated manufacturing and logistics endeavors through the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, our Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), and our Scheller College of Business, to name a few. Georgia Tech Professional Education partners in workforce development and training for working professionals throughout the state. Through programs such as the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise and Georgia Tech Scholars programs, we are working to ensure that a Georgia Tech education is within reach of every Georgia resident.
Together, with partners such as the Georgia Ports Authority, we’re growing our economy, creating jobs, and educating the workforce of tomorrow that will ensure that Georgia’s future is bright.