The core of the SmartState Program is Centers of Economic Excellence established by South Carolina’s senior research universities. These Centers are relevant to ongoing university research programs. They are grouped in six industry-focused Smart Clusters to make it easier for business, students, potential faculty, and the public to engage with the SmartState Program.

SmartState Centers have single or multiple non-state partners that have invested in the Center. Centers must have outside investment equal to the state’s investment. For example, if the state approves an award of $5 million in South Carolina Education Lottery Funds, the university must have a non-state partner willing to invest $5 million.

Each SmartState Center includes one or more endowed chairs, research infrastructure, technical staff, and sustainable funding sources. Centers must be supported by affiliated graduate programs that create opportunities for students and faculty.

Sort by Cluster | Sort by Name | Sort by University

SmartState Centers by Smart Cluster

Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology

Advanced Fiber-based Materials
Environmental Nanoscience and Risk
Experimental Nanoscale Physics
Multifunctional Materials and Structures (MFMS)®
Optical Materials/Photonics
Polymer Nanocomposites

Automotive & Transportation

CU-ICAR Automotive Design and Development 
CU-ICAR Automotive Manufacturing
Supply Chain Optimization and Logistics 
CU-ICAR Vehicle Electronic Systems Integration
CU-ICAR Automotive Systems Integration


Advanced Tissue Biofabrication
Brain Imaging
Prostate Cancer Disparities
Childhood Neurotherapeutics
Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety
HealthCare Quality
Health Facilities Design and Testing
Inflammation and Fibrosis Research
Marine Genomics
Molecular Proteomics in Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention
Regenerative Medicine
Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Sciences
Renal Disease Biomarkers
Technology Center to Enhance Healthful Lifestyles
Tobacco-Related Malignancies
Translational Biomedical Informatics
Vision Science

Energy & Alternative Fuels

Catalysis for Renewable Fuels Center
General Atomics Center for the Development of Translational Nuclear Technology
Hydrogen Economy
Nuclear Science and Energy
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells 
SmartGrid Technology
Strategic Approaches to the Generation of Electricity (SAGE)

Information Science

Data Analysis, Simulation, Imaging, and Visualization 
Sustainable Development
Tourism and Economic Development 
Urban Ecology and Restoration


Cancer Drug Discovery
Cancer Stem Cell Biology and Therapy
Gastrointestinal Cancer Diagnostics 
Lipidomics, Pathobiology and Therapy 
Medication Safety and Efficacy 
Translational Cancer Therapeutics