Aiken, Clemson University partner to boost Aiken's economy

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - An ecology program may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of economic growth.

But David Jameson, the president of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, says he expects Aiken's economy to receive a boost from the Urban Ecology Center.

He says professors, scientists and engineers working in the center will be using the latest technology to gather information that will help them manage the area's natural resources.

"They will be collecting tremendous amounts of data, data points up and down the Savannah River, data points at farms and forests," Jameson, said.

It used to take months to collect this type of information, now they'll receive the data instantly because Clemson University is partnering with Aiken.

Clemson University has picked Aiken as the best city in the region to develop an urban technology corridor.

They hope the new technology they develop will ultimately help city leaders quickly make decisions about managing resources.

Jameson says it could help them handle flooding and water flow issues, as well as issues with crops and forests.

Jameson says they hope to turn the information gathering process into a money making process.

"Some of those products may actually be able to be manufactured in our community," he said.

Clemson University has been waiting for this day for six years. Aiken officials say they can't wait to see what's ahead because they're betting on this program for the long haul.

The center will be housed by the Chamber of Commerce for up to two years. They'll receive support for their work through grants and public-private partnerships.

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