The Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston received The Trailblazer Award from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. CURI was recognized at the 2014 Honors Night Thursday at the Francis Marion Hotel.

In presenting the award, the chamber said, “CURI is driving economic growth and development by building a sustainable future through strategic private/public partnerships supporting South Carolina as a technology-driven, innovative, knowledge based economy.

“This interdisciplinary collaborative model between industry and academia prepares the workforce for new jobs in sustainable technologies. The SCE&G Energy Innovation Center, the Duke Energy eGrid (electrical grid research innovation and development center) the Warren Lasch Laboratory are applied research centers focused in energy systems, smart grid technology, advanced materials and water ecology. The Zucker Family Graduate Education Center is under way and scheduled to open in 2016 offering graduate and post-graduate degree programs in the engineering fields.”

Nicholas Rigas, executive director of the Restoration Institute, and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, director of business development, both said they are honored on behalf of CURI.

Rigas emphasized that the recognition would not have been possible without the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, industry partners and the state of South Carolina to build and operate the world-class development and testing facility for the next-generation wind turbine technology and an industrial-scale, unique electrical grid integration facility that will be play a significant role in modernizing the nation’s electrical infrastructure.

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce honors and celebrates individuals and companies who have provided exceptional advancements to the Charleston region. In particular, the Trailblazer Award recognizes an organization that has created a cutting-edge product or service.