Our team recently visited two cities on opposite borders of the state, yet bound by geography, history, and a desire to embrace innovation to move their communities forward.  I am referring to Augusta and Columbus; historic Georgia communities located on our state’s eastern and western borders.

The parallels between these cities are uncanny:  both grew up on major rivers that provided both transportation and water power for early industry.  Each have redeveloped their historic riverfront areas through strong partnerships which has attracted people, businesses, and university programs back to downtown. Both host major U.S. Department of Defense installations leading the way in technology; Ft. Benning in Columbus focusing on robotics and Ft. Gordon in Augusta in cyber technologies. And Augusta and Columbus are building strong local innovation ecosystems to address growing their economies for the 21st century.

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