Verizon Wireless has entered into a partnership with the University of South Carolina to research new uses for the company’s 5G network in the health care, civil infrastructure and manufacturing fields.
Research through the partnership will be based at the new Innovation Experience Hub located at USC’s McNair Aerospace Center on Catawba Street.
The partnership was formally announced Friday morning on the USC campus at an event attended by school and Verizon officials as well as S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and other community leaders.
It is the fifth research center of its kind developed by Verizon on U.S. university campuses in, company officials said at the event.
“This partnership will allow us to conduct research at the highest levels and advance the culture of innovation we have here at the university,” university President Michael Amiridis said Friday morning. “Our partnership with Verizon demonstrates how we can engage with businesses around the state to help our students develop skills that will allow them to apply for top tier jobs. We want this partnership to enhance the student experience at USC and make it easier for them to find careers, hopefully ones that will allow them to stay in this area.”
Verizon strategist Marc Bulandr told SC Biz News that the process of bringing the Innovation Hub to USC took about a year. He said the company picked the university because it saw how well it worked with its other corporate partners.
“The Innovation Hub is going to create an ecosystem here at the university that will not only help students develop skills that easily transition into the work world but will also bring innovation opportunities to the state as a whole,” Bulandr said.
Verizon is the latest company to formally partner with USC to allow students and faculty to use its technology to research new innovations. The school also has partnerships with IBM, Siemens, Yaskawa and others.
Verizon has set up a private 5G network at the McNair Center that will allow communication and transfer of large amounts of research data at higher speeds, company officials said.
The technology will be used for a wide variety of research projects at USC, including work on improving remote health monitoring for patients and developing visual inspection tools that help car manufacturers and other companies detect flaws in parts and other products while they are still in production.
On Friday morning, representatives from IBM also illustrated how 5G will interact with their company’s technology at USC to develop drone-based inspection protocols for bridges, roads and other infrastructure.
Jennifer Artley, Verizon’s senior vice president for 5G acceleration, said work done through USC’s Innovation Hub has the potential to change the way work is done in many fields.
“We believe 5G is the backbone of the digital future, and that world class research done here is going to accelerate innovation for entire industries,” Hartley said.