Clemson University and the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce announced today the creation of the Urban Ecology Center, the goal of which is to assist in developing an urban technology corridor.


Details of the new Urban Ecology Center were presented at the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce First Friday Means Business breakfast.


Gene Eidson, director of Clemson University's Institute of Computational Ecology, will direct the new center. The center will be housed by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce for up to two years, with support from the city, public-private partnerships and grants for research, education and outreach.


“Aiken has embraced the challenge of rethinking how small cities of the future can be innovative, entrepreneurial and resilient,” said Eidson. “These attributes typify leading technology centers and high-tech hubs and make Aiken an ideal small city for a startup-technology corridor to attract high-tech talent and entrepreneurial firms.”


Clemson University and the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce are anchor institutions of the Urban Ecology Center. Key partners will include the City of Aiken, Aiken County, the University of South Carolina-Aiken and Aiken Technical College.


The center’s mission is to infuse sustainability-based research, education and public outreach into the small city environment and its vital economic sectors. The center will promote an urban “live, work and learn” lifestyle and embrace innovation to engage the greater community in relevant social, economic and environmental issues; and assist the city with developing an urban technology corridor.