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IBM, Fluor and the University of South Carolina Team to Create Innovation Center

Public-private partnership will center on analytics and higher education solutions, create 100 jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – IBM (NYSE: IBM), the University of South Carolina (USC) and Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) today announced the formation of the Center for Applied Innovation. The Center will provide application services to both public and private sector organizations across North America with specialties in the areas of analytics and higher education industry solutions. As part of the initiative, the organizations will collaborate on tailored IT curriculums and advanced analytic techniques for personalized learning. The Center is expected to create 100 new jobs over the next five years.

The collaboration is part of an ongoing effort to expand student skills and understanding of applied computing to meet the growing demand for highly skilled IT professionals and business leaders. IBM and USC will develop internship opportunities that better link the classroom with career pathways as well as curriculum to build analytics skills that support businesses both locally and across North America. IBM will work with the Darla Moore School of Business as well as USC’s College of Engineering and Computing to team with companies in the region on analytics solutions to their most pressing business challenges.

As a partner in the Center, Fluor Corporation – global leader in engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction and project management – will serve as a strategic advisor, providing insight into emerging trends and requirements that will drive offerings delivered from the center. Fluor also has a major operations center in nearby Greenville, S.C.

USC also will be the first higher education institution to apply technology from IBM Research – piloted by Gwinnett County Schools in Georgia – and create a truly personalized learning experience for students and educators alike. The collaboration will seek ways to apply big data and analytics to help education institutions align intelligent content, student assessments and learner data. Together, IBM and USC will build the technology foundation and data needed for personalized learning that improves outcomes for students and talent management for the university. As the partnership develops, USC will become an international center of competency for universities, and ministries of education using similar solutions around the globe.

The Center for Applied Innovation will initially be located in existing facilities on USC’s campus and is expected to move to a new office building in the Innovista Research District anticipated to open in 2016. By delivering application services to clients across North America, the Center is expected to create internships and permanent direct and indirect jobs for USC graduates and other local IT professionals. The Center will adopt common methodology and tools in use across IBM, better enabling the USC Center to provide the same operational benefits and efficiencies to its clients and enable collaboration with other IBM delivery centers.


“USC’s strength in innovation, research and IT complements IBM’s history of collaborative research to transform public and private institutions. IBM and USC will team to foster innovation on campus and off to help promote our strategic agenda to develop deep centers of competency around industry solutions.” –IBM Global Business Services General Manager of Application Management Services Cameron Art

“Fluor is thrilled to be a partner in the Center for Applied Innovation as we build on our existing relationship with IBM and USC to create new opportunities for the region. We look forward to contributing to the center’s growth as well as accessing the skills, tools, and processes needed to continue adoption of advanced IT solutions by Fluor, our partners and clients.” –Fluor Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Seaton

“IBM and Fluor are two great South Carolina companies and it is extremely exciting to see them partner with USC to provide our students with the tools and training they need to successfully enter the workforce. Making sure our students are prepared for the thousands of highly skilled jobs coming to our state is one of the most important issues we are facing and why efforts like the Center for Applied Innovation are critical to the future of South Carolina.” –Gov. Nikki Haley

“The Center for Applied Innovation is the realization of the University of South Carolina’s vision to advance higher education through strong, public-private partnerships. Through this collaboration with IBM and Fluor, USC students will have unique opportunities to learn both in and outside the classroom and further hone their IT skills. By using advanced technologies and data analytics the collaboration will help students, educators and others in higher education make intelligent decisions that improve the student experience and enhance student achievement.” –University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides

“Congratulations to IBM, the University of South Carolina and Fluor Corporation for partnering to address a critical workforce development issue facing our nation. Public-private partnerships like this are essential as we all work to better our state, and I look forward to watching this Center for Applied Innovation excel in preparing our students for today’s job market.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“This is an exciting day for Richland County, USC, and the City of Columbia as IBM announces its new Center for Applied Innovation in the Innovista District. More importantly, IBM’s commitment of 100 new technology jobs at the Center is another sign of Columbia’s growing innovation sector.” –Richland County Council Chairman Norman Jackson

“This project is a game changer. It secures millions of new dollars in investment, generates hundreds of new high-paying jobs and helps to recruit and retain a new generation of talent here in Columbia. It heralds to the world that Columbia and the University of South Carolina are true centers of global innovation. It’s a true one-of-a-kind opportunity for our city and we couldn’t be more excited.” –City of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin 


  • IBM, the University of South Carolina and Fluor Corporation are partnering to form the Center for Applied Innovation.IBM and USC will develop internship opportunities that better link the classroom with career pathways.

  • Fluor Corporation will serve as a strategic advisor, providing insight into emerging trends and requirements that will drive offerings delivered from the center.

  • The Center is modeled after IBM’s network of global delivery centers.

  • The Center will initially be located in existing facilities on USC’s campus and is expected to move to a new office building in the Innovista Research District anticipated to open in 2016.

About Fluor Corporation
Fluor is a global leader in engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction, maintenance, and project management. Active across six continents, we work with governments and multinational companies to design, build, and maintain many of the world’s most complex and challenging capital projects. Clients trust Fluor to deliver services to optimized their assets, improve their competitive position, and increase their long-term business success. Our primary objective is to develop, execute, and maintain projects with operational excellence, and we are consistently rated as one of the world’s safest contractors. Fluor provides an integrated life-cycle approach to support our Clients’ capital investments.The individual and collective expertise of Fluor’s 40,000 employees in 79 countries provides cost-effective, intelligent solutions in a timely manner. Outstanding dependability, expertise, and safety distinguish Fluor as the preeminent leader in the global building services marketplace. Fluor is a Fortune 500 company, ranking No. 109 of America’s largest corporations in 2014. Fluor serves Clients in a wide variety of traditional and evolving industries worldwide, including energy and chemicals, power, infrastructure, mining and metals, industrial, and government. For more information on the Fluor Corporation, visit 

About IBM
For more information on IBM, visit 

About the University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a globally recognized, high-impact research university dedicated to innovation in learning, research and community engagement. Founded in 1801, the university offers more than 350 degree programs and is the state’s only top-tier Carnegie Foundation research institution. More than 46,000 students are enrolled at one of fourteen locations throughout the state, including the research campus in Columbia. With 47 nationally ranked academic programs including #1 programs in international business, the nation’s top-ranked honors college and distinguished programs in engineering, law, medicine, public health and the arts, the university is helping to build healthier, more educated communities in South Carolina and around the world. Learn more at 


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