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SCRA contributes almost $1B to S.C.’s economy

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SUMMERVILLE – The South Carolina Research Authority's impact on the State of South Carolina was over $952 million in 2020, SCRA announced.

Each year, SCRA calculates its economic variables such as jobs supported, salaries, grant funding, and investments made, then works with the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business, which analyzes the data and determines the overall economic impact to the state’s economy.

The results of the study are included in SCRA’s "2020 Annual Report: A Year Like No Other, A Response Like No Other." Included in the $952.4 million impact, a 35% increase from 2019, are:

• 5,251 South Carolina-based jobs supported by SCRA programs and operations.

• $74,196 average salary of companies in SCRA’s entrepreneurial program, SC Launch, which is 59% higher than the state’s average of $47,182.

• $2.4 million in grants to advance research capabilities, commercialize technology, expand product offerings, and fund the costs for businesses to relocate to S.C.

• Almost $1.5 billion in follow-on funding to SC Launch companies since the inception of the program in 2006, with over $329 million received in 2020 alone.

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“SCRA has a unique opportunity to help grow our state’s economy in the knowledge-based sector. They consistently show that they accomplish this each year. Their funding, mentorship, and support for market-viable research projects and startups, helps South Carolina’s overall ranking, in comparison to other states in the region,” said Joey Von Nessen, PhD, University of South Carolina research economist.

Other 2020 highlights include several SCRA Member Companies providing impactful solutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, ZVerse has become the largest supplier of reusable face shields in the nation, thanks in part to SCRA’s quick action and support of their business, after initially struggling after the onset of the pandemic.

“We mobilized our board and staff soon after the pandemic started last year. It was this rapid action that allowed us to take a two-fold approach to help our companies produce solutions to fight the pandemic and also to shore up some of our companies that were negatively impacted by the economic downturn,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA executive director. “As our title states, it truly was a year like no other, as well as a response like no other.”

SCRA fulfills its mission of fueling South Carolina’s innovation economy through its four programs, SC Academic Innovations, SC Facilities, SC Industry Solutions and SC Launch.

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