Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday said USC is right to move away from a "field of dreams" approach of constructing speculative buildings in its Innovista research campus to attract high-tech businesses.
And the state shouldn't "continue to throw good money after bad" when it comes to making Columbia a hydrogen hub, Sanford said. The governor vetoed funding for hydrogen and Innovista in 2007 but was overridden by the General Assembly.
USC has spent more than $100 million on Innovista since it was announced in 2005, and it has not created permanent, private high-tech jobs in any significant numbers.
Millions more have been spent on developing a hydrogen economy in the state, also without a significant influx of jobs.
But advocates for Innovista and hydrogen, including Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, say USC and the region should stay the course but Innovista should evolve with technology breakthroughs and changes in the economy.