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Creating Great Jobs Through Better Mobility

Most of us want to live in a thriving community where people have choices to safely walk and ride bikes, drive personal automobiles, or use transit systems. Tractor trailers and other industrial vehicles need to safely use the same public roads. Careful planning and operations are required to ensure great multimodal mobility that is efficient, safe, healthy, equitable, and sustainable. Dr. Ronnie Chowdhury is the Eugene Douglas Mays Chair of Transportation at Clemson and Director of the Center for Connected Multimodal Mobility (C2M2).

Described below is how an Innovation Collaboration Agreement (ICA) can be crafted around this opportunity using the Great Jobs Through Innovation Excellence Act (Great Jobs) Innovation Ecosystem Framework (click for a more detailed graphic).

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Established Research

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The primary mode of mobility in most American communities is personal cars.  Mixing in other options such as walking and biking can be very dangerous. Mobility systems can be improved by analyzing lots of data from traffic cameras, pedestrian signals, cell phones, and social media platforms, to future sources including connected vehicles. C2M2's Quantum Artificial Intelligence laboratory (Q-AI lab) can extract useful information from all this data to solve complex transportation issues from real-time incident detection and to cybersecurity. 

Multimodal systems must meet the needs of diverse communities. A strength of C2M2 is its diverse leadership team. Co-Directors include Dr. Dimitra Michalaka at The Citadel, Dr. Judith Mwakalonge, at SC State University, Dr. Nathan Huynh at the University of SC, and Dr. Gurcan Comert at Benedict. 

Market Pull Innovation and Commercialization

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The State of South Carolina has the fourth-largest state-maintained road system in the nation. The SC Department of Transportation might benefit from hiring C2M2 students to help improve our transportation system. A mobility company like Michelin,  BMW, or Volvo might employ C2M2 students to help commercialize globally the best-in-class multimodal mobility innovations developed here.

C2M2 would enter into an ICA where the industry partner identifies a problem they have, and C2M2 designs a research project to address that problem. Great Jobs would fund C2M2's research, and the industry partner might match that investment by creating or expanding an innovation center in SC that would employ students when they graduate. If the industry partner is a commercial entity, an economic development organization like the Greenville Area Development Corporation would also be a party to the ICA to ensure that all other economic development incentives are available. 

Commercialization and Workforce Development

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Lots of high skilled jobs will be created by the design and deployment of advanced mobility systems. The ICA must also have a lead technical college, for example Greenville Tech, which may lead a consortium of technical colleges across the state to ensure the needed training is available.

The ICA must have a partner like the SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Accelerate program to engage K-12 teachers and students to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM careers. 

Thank you for joining the Great Jobs journey.