In 1989, I worked part time for an Aerospace Coatings Company in Greenville. I helped develop an insulation product that used hollow microscopic glass beads (I was a technician doing trials for the chemist). I got the idea that we could use it in concrete. I got Dow Corning to donate a big box of the micro-balloons for research and I brought the box to Clemson.
I made one or maybe two batches of test cubes, but they were too weak and we didn't have enough time to test more since we had to build the canoe. We went with the standard of the time perlite for our concrete.
Anyway, I graduated and left my micro-balloons and my notes. A couple of years later, Clemson led the way with the research and it became somewhat of a standard.
I'm sure nobody knows or remembers that it was originally my idea and anyway, some folks a lot smarter than I were able to figure out how to get some strength to the product.
Enriched flour. Rural people used to suffer from diseases like Pellagra, etc., because their diet didn't provide the necessary nutrients. The Clemson Extension Service, working with nurses from Greenville, invented enriched flour and wiped out an entire class of diseases.