Our Initiatives


SmartState® Centers

In 2002, the South Carolina General Assembly had the vision to establish the Centers of Economic Excellence or CoEE program.  This later became the SmartState® program.  The legislation authorized South Carolina’s Research Universities (Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina) to use state provided lottery funds (with at least a 1:1 match of non-state funds) in order to create each Center of Economic Excellence (now SmartState® Centers).  The program targeted six key industry areas having the vision of advancing the economy of South Carolina.

The SmartState® program has been highly successful.  The State’s investment of $198M has resulted in a nearly seven-fold return in non-state matching funds.  The program overall has had more than $1.5B in non-state investment, and the total economic impact has been estimated to be more than $2.3B.  Overall the SmartState® program has resulted in the creation of more than 12,000 high quality jobs, having salaries averaging nearly $70K/year. It has also resulted in more than 65 corporate startups and relocations.  Non-state funds for Centers have come from a veritable “Who's Who” of industry and philanthropy, including The Duke Endowment, the BCBS Foundation of SC, BMW, Fluor, Michelin, SCANA and numerous others.

Today 54 of 85 approved SmartState® Endowed Chair positions have been filled at the State’s 51 SmartState® Centers.  These Centers cover six industry-focused Smart Clusters that are critical to the world and South Carolina, including: Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Automotive & Transportation, Biomedical, Energy & Future Fuels, Information Science, and Pharmaceutical.  For more information, visit www.SmartStateSC.org, or contact Tanya Rogers (803-737-2224).


Initiative Data

How this is Funded:

Why We Did It

Since its inception in 2004, HSSC and its members have provided support to the SmartState® program and have sponsored SmartState® Centers with financial and organizational support.  HSSC and its members have invested millions of dollars as matching funds and have helped secure additional funding from industry, foundations, and federal partners.  HSSC has sponsored 12 health related SmartState® Centers and their endowed chairs, having provided nearly $37M in matching funds to HSSC-sponsored Centers through directed member contributions, grant pass-throughs, and other grant and project related funding.  A summary of the HSSC Sponsored Centers and Chairs, and the amount of HSSC sponsorship, is tabulated below.

Center Chairs HSSC Sponsorship Amount ($)
Brain Imaging

Dr. Chris Rorden (USC)

Dr. Joseph Helpern (MUSC)

Endowed Chair Opening (MUSC)


Cancer Stem Cell Biology and Therapy

Dr. Zihai Li (MUSC)

Dr. Xue Zhong Yu (MUSC)




Childhood Neurotherapeutics

Dr. Jeffrey Twiss (USC)

Dr. Manuel Casanova (USC)

Endowed Chair Opening (MUSC)

Endowed Chair Opening (USC)




Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety

Dr. John Schaefer (MUSC)

Dr. Jihad Obeid (MUSC)

Endowed Chair Opening (USC)


Health Facilities Design and Testing


Dr. Anjali Joseph (Clemson)

Endowed Chair Opening (MUSC)




Healthcare Quality

Dr. Les Lenert (MUSC)

Dr. Xiaoming Li (USC)




Medication Safety and Efficacy


Dr. Charles Bennett (USC)




Molecular Proteomics in Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention

Dr. Sheldon Litwin

Endowed Chair Opening (MUSC)



Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Martin Morad (USC)

Dr. Stephen Duncan (MUSC)

Endowed Chair Opening (Clemson)





Dr. Sue Levkoff (USC)

Endowed Chair Opening (USC)

Endowed Chair Opening (Clemson)




Dr. Robert Adams (MUSC)

Dr. Marc Chimowitz (MUSC)

Dr. Souvik Sen (USC)



Technology Center to Enhance Healthful Lifestyles

Dr. Frank Treiber (MUSC)

Dr. Delia West (USC)






For further details:  http://www.endowedchairs.org/2014-2015-Annual-Report-web.pdf


Our Accomplishments

Our Achievements