Introduction - Why SmartState - SmartState Success
 Enabling Legislation - Review Board

Why the SmartState Program is important to South Carolina

Why does South Carolina need a program that brings together its research universities and industry to fuel its knowledge-based economy?

The short answer is that it works.

The SmartState Program builds South Carolina’s competitive advantage. In the new technology-driven economy, states that don’t focus on research, innovation, and commercialization will lose jobs. Legislative action such as the SmartState Program enables South Carolina to attract higher-paying jobs on the merit of the state’s knowledge base and technology transfer capabilities. 

The SmartState Program advances South Carolina's efforts to create a vibrant knowledge economy. The SmartState Program actively supports job-creating research in high-growth, high-wage industries that have the power to transform the state’s economy. These industry-focused areas are called Smart Clusters and include Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Automotive & Transportation, Biomedical, Energy & Alternative Fuels, Information Science, and Pharmaceutical.

The SmartState Program attracts new federal and private funding for research in South Carolina. The program is a magnet for outside investment. State money for each Center is matched dollar-for-dollar by non-state investors. To date, the program has resulted in more than $1.5 billion dollars in non-state investment into the South Carolina economy.

The SmartState Program recruits world-class scientists and engineers to lead economy-building research programs, establish new companies and educate students. These top-flight scientists help South Carolina stimulate patenting, venture capital investment and the vreation of startup companies.

The SmartState Program creates opportunities for South Carolina students who might otherwise leave the state for other universities. New SmartState-inspired graduate programs include automotive engineering, electrochemistry, fuel cell engineering, and mathematical modeling. These graduates are highly sought after employees as well as future researchers and entrepreneurs.

The SmartState Program helps South Carolina companies succeed. The research funded by the Program directly supports the strategic business goals of South Carolina companies. SmartState researchers are working to generate technology that South Carolina companies can use to create new products, improve processes, increase sales, and ultimately create jobs. The SmartState Program fosters an innovative environment in which technology transfer can lead to new startup companies from university research.