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Global university-industry collaboration effort starts in SC

South Carolina Business Review
SC Public Radio

We’ve discussed many times on this program the fruitful partnerships that exist between our state’s research universities and industry. And we’ve just become aware of a global membership organization comprising top-tier innovation companies and world-class universities--that also happens to be based in our capital city. Mike Switzer interviews Jennifer Carinci, executive director of the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance which is an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation Engineering Directorate and administered by the University Industry Demonstration Partnership in Columbia, SC.

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After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.