May
11

USC Seeks New Partners, New Options for Innovista

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USC seeks new partners, new options for Innovista

May 11, 2008

By JEFF WILKINSON – The State

Overly optimistic timeline and downturn in economy have slowed construction

USC is scrambling to re-energize its Innovista research campus after a series of setbacks.

Two taxpayer-funded buildings are under construction, but:

• Two privately funded research buildings expected to be completed last year are still on the drawing board.

• Efforts to attract a major high-tech firm fell through in 2006.

• And recruiters still have not found major private-industry tenants for the budding campus.

University officials say they are “dissatisfied” with the progress of their private partner, N.C. developer Craig Davis, who was supposed to build the two other buildings and help recruit high-tech companies.

Davis and the university are working to bring in new partners to help them build Innovista, touted by boosters as Columbia’s high-tech economic future.

“The buildings are not coming out of the ground, and we need to look at other options,” said Rick Kelly, the university’s vice president for business affairs and its chief financial officer.

Added Don Herriott, head of global operations for Roche chemical company and chairman of the USC Research Campus Foundation: “We’re all disappointed. We clearly thought we would be further along than we are today.”

Part of the problem is that Davis and USC officials thought they had landed a high-tech, Fortune 100 company for the campus, but the deal fell through in 2006.

They refer to the company only as a “single-use prospect that didn’t materialize,” but numerous sources have identified it as Santa Clara, Calif.-based computer giant Intel.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.thestate.com/local/story/401481.html
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