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Mayor unveils business plan for collaboration project

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Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver unveiled his business plan Monday for the $100,000 economic development line item Augusta commissioners approved sight-unseen in November.

  Sara Caldwell
Sara Caldwell

His release of plans for the new Augusta Regional Collaboration, or ARC, Project, comes ahead of Wednesday’s inaugural Technological Association of Georgia Augusta Chapter meeting, Copenhaver said.

Citing “a pressing need” for the Augusta area to move toward a knowledge-based economy because of its heavy reliance on federal investment such as Fort Gordon and Savannah River Site that is unsustainable at current levels, the center will provide a permanent presence for the area’s information technology, including military, medical and energy sectors in a single location.

The former Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce Building on Broad Street would house the center, letting the sectors incubate new partnerships and business models to foster “a more entrepreneurial environment.”

“It’s still a work in progress,” Copenhaver said. “But moving into the future, really successful cities understand that becoming a knowledge-based economy is the driving force to recruiting and retaining the best and brightest young minds.”

Copenhaver said the plan is his creation and is based on the “big picture” knowledge he’s gained from touring resources such as Plant Vogtle, Savannah River Site, Fort Gordon, Georgia Health Sciences University, ESi and RSI.

Specialists at Fort Gordon, for instance, are authoring military computer applications daily, and “that’s a great labor force for the technology sector to take advantage of,” he said.

Copenhaver cited the Cyber Innovation Center just outside Shreveport and Barksdale Air Force Base in northwest Louisiana, as an example of an area leveraging its resources for the future.

Augusta’s $100,000 investment is seed money, and Copenhaver said he expects the center eventually to be funded wholly by grants and the private sector.

Headed by a director obtained through a national search process, the center won’t duplicate existing efforts by the chamber, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Development Authority or Development Authority of Richmond County, although it might eventually be housed with those entities in a proposed new building on Reynolds Street, he said.

Copenhaver unveiled the plan as Augusta’s chapter of the Technology Association of Georgia has its first meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Augusta State University’s Hall Auditorium, where he will welcome TAG to the region.

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SCEagle Eye
914
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SCEagle Eye 02/20/12 - 06:56 pm
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Good to see that reality is

Good to see that reality is setting in - that big government can't continue to transfer our wealth to dependent operations like the Savannah River Site. Many special interests in the Aiken-Augusta area are betting that the tax payer will continue to foot the bill for new schemes at SRS but time is running out on this dependency attitude.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/21/12 - 05:52 am
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It's worth a try although

It's worth a try although it's going to be difficult to get SRS and the Fort to share info with private groups.

Government dominated economies usually lag behind economic cycles and as the government lay-offs of all kinds begin, we are going to see the pain.

Clean Water
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Clean Water 02/21/12 - 10:59 am
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This could be a great idea.

This could be a great idea. They could get together and come up with some plans to over come all the pollution issues in and around Augusta. Protect poor people from fishing in Savannah River and Lake Olmstead. Come up with a plan to clean up the Savannah River and Communities around and below the Nuclear Industires. They come even help the people in Hyde Park.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 02/21/12 - 12:25 pm
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Can anyone show me where the

Can anyone show me where the city charter empowers the mayor to manage technology?

crkgrdn
2287
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crkgrdn 02/21/12 - 01:35 pm
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With two more reactors being

With two more reactors being built at Vogtle and two more coming to SC, along with Esi, ADP, Knology and Comcast and others, the Southeast will be the home of a very powerful combination: nuclear power and information technology.

While the Luddites in other states shut down refineries and reactors, the South will be in the vanguard selling electricity and becoming the base of future cybernetic enterprises.

No we don't expect NSA at Fort Gordon to share anything that is critical to national security. In fact the arrangement may be reversed where new developments in information technology may benefit NSA

This a most forward looking event.

Riverman1
84152
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Riverman1 02/21/12 - 01:40 pm
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I'm curious. Are the Knology

I'm curious. Are the Knology and Comcast operations here some kind of regional deal? I thought every city had these things? No?

Riverman1
84152
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Riverman1 02/21/12 - 01:50 pm
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I wonder if all this means is

I wonder if all this means is Deke wants to hire, yet, another person to do nothing?

Little Lamb
46068
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Little Lamb 02/21/12 - 02:46 pm
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Susan McCord wrote: Augusta

Susan McCord wrote:

Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver unveiled his business plan Monday for the $100,000 economic development line item Augusta commissioners approved sight-unseen in November.

He got this item approved in November, before the retreat in February. If he had sought approval after the retreat, when the feel-good factor was much higher, he might have got a quarter million!

jayse30
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jayse30 02/22/12 - 08:29 am
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Riverman1 wrote: I'm curious.

Riverman1 wrote:
I'm curious. Are the Knology and Comcast operations here some kind of regional deal? I thought every city had these things? No?
Yes they are local offices. In addition, the ADP presence in Augusta is a call center. Augusta is hardly an Information Technology hotbed.

countyman
20149
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countyman 01/10/13 - 01:14 am
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The ADP office is Augusta is

The ADP office in Augusta is far from being a ''call center''...

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