BoroScience International Receives Investment From SCRA’s SC Launch

May 29, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – May 28, 2008 – BoroScience International, (BoroScience) a Columbia-based company that produces cost-effective, solid-source boron-based compounds, and SCRA, a global leader in applied research and commercialization services, announce that BoroScience has received an investment from SCRA affiliate SC Launch. A ceremony was held today to recognize BoroScience at The University of South Carolina (USC) Columbia Technology Center, 1225 Laurel Street.

The success to date of BoroScience demonstrates the power of collaboration among SCRA, USC, The City of Columbia and Engenuity SC in their collaboration through the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative. The SC Launch! funding was provided as a result of the company’s selection as one of the four award recipients through the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge. This SC Launch investment furthers Midlands-area efforts to establish a portable fuel cell cluster and attract additional, collaborative partners.

“Through our region’s participation with SCRA/SC Launch in the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, we are moving the innovation needle in our favor on the road to creating a viable knowledge economy in Columbia and South Carolina.  We are proud to call Columbia home to an innovative company like Boroscience International”, stated City of Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, who has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the Knowledge Economy in South Carolina. 

BoroScience is currently headquartered at the USC Columbia Technology Incubator. Although the company plans expand to a permanent Columbia facility within two years, they will soon occupy wet lab space at USC, which was instrumental in bringing the company to the Midlands. BoroScience will utilize the investment to assist in establishing their permanent research and development facility and to add research and technical staff. Currently, the SC Launch Board of Directors has approved the $123,400 investment in BoroScience.  An additional $76,600 in potential follow-on funding to BoroScience is available based upon achievement of planned milestones.

BoroScience brings a patented small-scale boron-ammonia manufacturing process to Columbia. The company serves high-yield, low-cost markets including hydrogen, advanced materials, biomedical and electronics technology. “We supply academic and industrial leaders in these fields,” said BoroScience CEO Bernard Spielvogel, Ph.D. The company is currently researching potential for catalytic hydrogen release and regeneration “We foresee use of ammonia borane as a feedstock for many commercially valuable materials which will stimulate large-scale production,” said Spielvogel.

Spielvogel visited South Carolina on a trade mission from Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2006. “In my travels throughout the state, it became very obvious that SC had a very clear view of the direction it wanted to take for its future and its place in the U.S.,” he said. “I met enthusiastic leaders committed to making this happen. Wanting to be a part of it, I moved my company to Columbia in Feb of 2007.” Spielvogel located BoroScience in the USC Columbia Technology Incubator and also qualified as a SCLaunch company.  “These organizations and USC administrators have been extremely helpful to grow my company. In the few short months since arriving in SC, I have participated in events throughout the state and have been presented with numerous opportunities to grow my business,” he said. “Columbia and South Carolina is truly an exciting place to be and promises to be a leader in knowledge based economical growth.

“We are proud to be a part of BoroScience’s success as they bring important fuel cell technology to South Carolina,” said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO. “Their partnership with USC and the recognition they’ve received from the Fuel Cell Collaborative provides a strong example of how collaboration strengthens the Knowledge Economy of South Carolina,” he said.  “Both SCRA’s management and support of the Fuel Cell Collaborative and SC Launch’s work with BoroScience fulfill the SCRA and SC Launch mission to generate knowledge economy companies and jobs in South Carolina. We are delivering substantive applied research product develop and commercialization outcomes which complement intellectual property developed commercially and by our in-state universities,” Mahoney said.

The BoroScience announcement follows a series of others by SC Launch. In recent months, more than 59 start-up initiatives across the state have received financial support and other services from SC Launch. SC Launch portfolio companies include DigitalDerm (Columbia), Sabal Medical (Charleston) and Vigilix (Greenville).

Rewarding Knowledge Economy in South Carolina

Also at today’s event, Bill Mahoney presented a Knowledge Economist award to Joel Stevenson, Executive Director of the USC Technology Incubator, and to Dr. Robert E. Henderson, who served as the first CEO of SCRA upon its formation in 1983.

The SCRA Knowledge Economist Award Program recognizes outstanding citizens who have made significant contributions to South Carolina’s Knowledge Economy “where the value of the mind shapes the successful profile of progress and great prospects for the future,” said Mahoney.

For more information about the SCRA Knowledge Economist Award Program and a list of persons who have been recognized as a South Carolina Knowledge Economist, please click on this link: