Officials broke ground today on the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) facility to be built on the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken) campus.

Officials broke ground today on the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) facility to be built on the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken) campus. From left are Teresa Haas, chair, Aiken County Commission for Higher Education; Daniel Heimmermann, chancellor, USC Aiken; Bart Blackwell, South Carolina state representative; Brent Brooks, president, North Wind Construction Services; Vahid Majidi, director, Savannah River National Laboratory; Joe Wilson, U.S. representative for South Carolina; William “Ike” White, EM senior advisor; Sandra Jordan, former chancellor, USC Aiken; Gary Bunker, chairman, Aiken County Council; Mike Budney, manager, Savannah River Operations Office; and Tony Polk, director, Savannah River Laboratory Office.

AIKEN, S.C. – Local officials along with leaders from DOE, Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), and the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken) broke ground today on the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) facility to be built on the USC Aiken campus.

The facility will provide accessible, modern and flexible laboratory space for EM’s SRNL and its collaboration partners.

“The realization of the AMC is a win-win for the Department and for a unique community that has played such a key role in our national security, science and energy missions for decades,” EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White said. “As the center for academic, commercial and government collaboration, the AMC will foster scientific and technology innovation while building the next generation workforce in a state-of-the-art facility.”

USC Aiken Chancellor Daniel Heimmermann thanked the Department and the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education (ACCHE) for locating the AMC on the USC Aiken campus and bringing together academia, industry and the national laboratories across the manufacturing sectors.

"USC Aiken is pleased to host the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative,” said Heimmermann. “This innovation hub will provide outstanding research and development opportunities for our students and create limitless opportunities for advancement in the various STEM fields throughout Aiken and the CSRA."

CSRA stands for Central Savannah River Area, a region that includes eight counties in South Carolina and 13 counties in Georgia.

EM Senior Advisor William "Ike" White speaks during the groundbreaking for the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative today at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
EM Senior Advisor William "Ike" White speaks during the groundbreaking for the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative today at the University of South Carolina Aiken.

The 60,000-square-foot facility will not only provide new laboratory, office and conference space suitable for advanced manufacturing research and development, but more importantly, it will house collaborative and research and development spaces for spinning innovative technologies into the Department and spinning them out into the commercial sector.

“The AMC will embody the modern concepts of manufacturing to include smart and digital manufacturing and remote and autonomous systems embracing the tenets of Industry 4.0 manufacturing,” SRNL Director Vahid Majidi said. "And it will accelerate the establishment of SRNL’s expanded core competencies by connecting scientists and engineers from across the Battelle Savannah River Alliance partnership.”

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina noted that after working on the project for over seven years, he was grateful to finally be breaking ground.

“This project will be an economic driver for the region and the state,” said Wilson. “The Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative will maximize industry and education and create more jobs in the Central Savannah River Area.”

The location of the facility was set up through a no-cost land lease agreement between the Department and the ACCHE. North Wind Construction Services was awarded the final design, construction and commissioning of the AMC facility. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in 2024.