In 2002, the South Carolina General Assembly had the vision to establish the Centers of Economic Excellence or CoEE program. This later became the SmartState® program. The legislation authorized South Carolina’s Research Universities (Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina) to use state provided lottery funds (with at least a 1:1 match of non-state funds) in order to create each Center of Economic Excellence (now SmartState® Centers). The program targeted six key industry areas having the vision of advancing the economy of South Carolina.
The SmartState® program has been highly successful. The State’s investment of $198M has resulted in a nearly seven-fold return in non-state matching funds. The program overall has had more than $1.5B in non-state investment, and the total economic impact has been estimated to be more than $2.3B. Overall the SmartState® program has resulted in the creation of more than 12,000 high quality jobs, having salaries averaging nearly $70K/year. It has also resulted in more than 65 corporate startups and relocations. Non-state funds for Centers have come from a veritable “Who's Who” of industry and philanthropy, including The Duke Endowment, the BCBS Foundation of SC, BMW, Fluor, Michelin, SCANA and numerous others.
Today 54 of 85 approved SmartState® Endowed Chair positions have been filled at the State’s 51 SmartState® Centers. These Centers cover six industry-focused Smart Clusters that are critical to the world and South Carolina, including: Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Automotive & Transportation, Biomedical, Energy & Future Fuels, Information Science, and Pharmaceutical. For more information, visit www.SmartStateSC.org, or contact Tanya Rogers (803-737-2224).
How this is Funded:
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