When the SmartState Program was established in 2002, South Carolina’s economy was reeling from the loss of thousands of textile industry jobs. State leaders recognized the need to reinvent the state’s business base and create a knowledge-based economy.
At the core of the SmartState Program are Centers of Economic Excellence, funded by state lottery funds and non-state investors in six industry-focused Smart Clusters.
In just 12 years, the SmartState Program has attracted more than $1.5 billion in non-state investment, has led to the creation of more than 10,000 jobs, and has assembled a who’s who of corporate partners, including BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, BMW, Fluor, and Michelin. By any measure, South Carolina’s SmartState Program is a huge success.
South Carolina’s Upstate in now home to CU-ICAR, a global force in automotive design, engineering and manufacturing. Clemson University’s International Center of Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) is now a destination for the world’s automotive manufacturers in search of new technology and graduates of Clemson’s automotive engineering degree program. Companies like electric bus-maker Proterra have located near CU-ICAR and are creating jobs.
South Carolina’s Midlands is now home to the University of South Carolina’s energy and alternative fuels program, which partners leading researchers with utility companies like SCANA, Santee Cooper, and South Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives to solve the energy challenges of today and tomorrow. This includes new, more efficient uses for existing power sources and exploring new sources of power.
South Carolina’s Lowcountry is now home to a thriving biomedical and pharmaceutical research hub that has made South Carolina a world leader in human simulation technology and training as well as a growing hot bed for regenerative medicine. Other researchers are tackling cancer, heart disease and health care disparities.
The SmartState Program is built on the spirit of collaboration and inclusion. Learn more how you can get involved.