EngenuitySC Celebrates its Fifth Year and Unveils Plans for Columbia's Next Generation at Engenuity'08 Knowledge Economy Leadership Conference

November 13, 2008

Conference to Honor Dr. Andrew Sorensen and to Feature Author and Next Generation Expert, Rebecca Ryan

COLUMBIA, SC – November 13, 2008 – Last night EngenuitySC celebrated its fifth year promoting the knowledge economy in Columbia and the Midlands by hosting Engenuity ’08, a leadership conference to “look at where we’ve come from…imagine where we’ll be.”  The conference took place, in the Discovery I building at Innovista, a 110,000 square foot building, which will house the University of South Carolina’s biomedical researchers.  Although Discovery I is not yet fully operational, it represents the progress Columbia has made over the past five years in developing its knowledge economy and possibilities for the future. 

src=img/EngenuitySC-logo.jpgEngenuitySC Executive Director, Neil McLean, welcomed guests and introduced City of Columbia Mayor, Robert Coble, and President of the University of South Carolina, Dr. Harris Pastides, who focused on Columbia’s five year renaissance and the contributions EngenuitySC has made to the city and region as well as its plans for the future.  The program included a dynamic video, which captures the genesis of Columbia’s knowledge-based economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

Judy Davis, executive vice president of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and co-chair for Engenuity’08, presented the 2008 EngenuitySC Vision Award to Dr. Andrew Sorensen, distinguished professor and the 27th president of the University of South Carolina, for his support, transformative vision and innovation, which contributed to building Columbia’s knowledge economy and set the new standard for public/private partnership.  The program concluded with keynote speaker, Rebecca Ryan, who is the author of Live First, Work Second: Getting Inside the Minds of the Next Generation and one of the country’s leading next generation consultants through her company, Next Generation Consulting, a research and consulting firm that helps clients engage the next generation.  Ryan discussed what it will take to make Columbia a talent magnet and destination to attract and retain the next generation of creative workers.


“We began with an idea, a vision of what developing a knowledge-based economy in Columbia could do for South Carolina,” said Neil McLean, executive director of EngenuitySC.  “After five years, we are seeing our goals realized as Columbia becomes a leader for hydrogen fuel cell research and technology, more knowledge-based companies locate in the University of South Carolina Technology Incubator and the National Hydrogen Association prepares to host its 2009 international conference in Columbia this coming March.  We are very proud of the progress we have made, and we are excited about the possibilities for the future,” McLean continued.  

About EngenuitySC

EngenuitySC is an active public/private sector partnership focused on nurturing the growth of a knowledge-based economy in the Columbia, SC region.  Comprised of business and industry leaders, along with representatives from local government and academia, EngenuitySC strives to create a fertile business climate that:  encourages entrepreneurship and the commercialization of ideas and technology, harnesses the research breakthroughs of higher education institutions, establishes public policy that is sensitive to the unique needs of knowledge-based companies, and promotes access to start-up investment capital.  For more information, visit: www.engenuitysc.com.