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Economic Development

Since its inception in 2002, South Carolina’s SmartState Program has been a true catalyst for economic development, creating nearly 10,000 jobs in South Carolina. The average salary of those jobs is $78,393—significantly higher than the state average. Here are other developments:

  • In 2010, a number of new companies announced relocations to South Carolina, including automotive companies Sage and CT&T in the Upstate. Fuel cell company Trulite announced plans to relocate to Columbia to be near the automotive research of USC's Future Fuels® Centers.
  • Electric bus manufacturer Proterra located its corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant near CU-ICAR in the Upstate. In June 2011, Proterra had 35 employees; a year later it had more than 130 employees and the goal of building 1,500 “green” buses a year in South Carolina.
  • Timken and BMW have located corporate research and development offices on the CU-ICAR campus that have together created 500 high-paying jobs.
  • The SmartState Program is building South Carolina’s competitive position in emerging high-growth industries. These sectors include automotive engineering, health sciences, life sciences, nanotechnology, advanced materials, supply chain optimization and logistics, fuel cells, and molecular nutrition.
  • When the health sciences component of the program is fully funded and in place, as many as 40 world-class scientists, plus a cadre of researchers and technicians, will be working in South Carolina. The economic impact could range from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in new products and jobs. 
  • Healthcare Simulation South Carolina, an initiative of the Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety Center, has established a statewide network of simulation training centers and succeeding in transforming how future doctors, nurses, allied health and EMS workers are trained. Under the direction of SmartState Endowed Chair Dr. John Schaeffer, HealthCare Simulation South Carolina has increased the number of training simulations to more than 25,000 per year statewide, and developed more than 400 simulation scenarios and 25 courses that have brought some $2 million in research funding to South Carolina. Additionally, HealthCare Simulation South Carolina partners have provided over 115,000 student encounters. This SmartState Center has a successful spinoff company and commercial development relationships, working with SimTunes, LLC, and Laerdal Corporation to deliver course content for distribution in the online SimStore®. The Simulation Center is working closely with B-Line Medical to develop and distribute SimCapture and SimBridge, patient simulation related software.