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For Immediate Release
News and releases from Clare Morris Agency

S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence Program Gets New Identity:

5/2/11

New identity, logo will better convey ways that the program is changing South Carolina's economy: making the state a leader in high-tech fields and creating better-paying jobs.

South Carolina's State Lottery-funded program that creates knowledge-based research centers and enables the state to recruit top scientists and engineers is getting a new identity.

The program, previously known as the "Centers of Economic Excellence Program" and nicknamed by some as the "Endowed Chairs Program," is now the "SmartState™ Program."

The new identity will better reflect the program's purpose. In essence, the program exists to transform South Carolina into a "smart state" that can compete for high-paying jobs based on the value of its knowledge and innovation.

SmartState Review Board Chair Pamela P. Lackey says that the new name perfectly encapsulates what the program is accomplishing and how it is reshaping South Carolina's economy.

"Today, we see the tangible results of how this visionary program is turning South Carolina into a 'smart state,'" Lackey says. "It has placed a powerful focus on developing new world-class R&D within our state's universities, keeping the best and brightest in South Carolina, and creating high-skill, higher-paying jobs. The new name communicates the importance of using our state's 'brains' to underpin our economic success and guarantee our future."

Since the program was created by the S.C. General Assembly in 2002, it has helped South Carolina achieve "smart state" status in several ways. First, the SmartState Program has enabled the state to launch 49 university-based research and development (R&D) centers in industries ranging from bioscience to nanotechnology to automotive engineering. These R&D centers, or Centers of Economic Excellence, are helping attract new companies to the state which want to tap into university research.

In addition, the SmartState Program has enabled the state to recruit 37 internationally acclaimed scientists and engineers who serve as SmartState Endowed Chairs at South Carolina's three major research universities, Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina. These SmartState Endowed Chairs are leading the cutting-edge Centers of Economic Excellence and working to attract and retain top students in South Carolina.

To date, the SmartState Program has resulted in more than $400 million dollars in non-state investment in the South Carolina economy—more than a two-to-one return on the state's investment. The SmartState Program is also responsible for the creation of more than 5,000 jobs.

About the SmartState™ Program
The SmartState Program (formerly known as the CoEE Program) was created by the South Carolina legislature in 2002 and is funded through South Carolina Education Lottery proceeds. The legislation authorizes the state's three public research institutions, Medical University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, to use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence in research areas that will advance South Carolina's economy. Each Center is awarded from $2 million to $5 million in State Lottery funds, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with non-state investment.






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