S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence Program Launches New Web Site

September 8, 2007

Columbia, SC – September 7, 2007 – The state’s endowed chairs research program now has a new home and a new look on the World Wide Web. The South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE) Program has launched its new site at www.sccoee.org  

The CoEE Program grants awards to the state’s three research universities (Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina) to create Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEEs), along with associated endowed professorships, in technology-based fields that are likely to enhance the state’s knowledge economy. Each award must be matched dollar-for-dollar with funds from private, federal or municipal sources.

The new web site contains detailed information about the program, its oversight, and the process that leads to the awarding of a Center.
Information about the 12 world-class researchers or “endowed chairs” attracted to the state through the program is also available on the site.

“We believe that the new web site will help us better communicate all of the ways that the CoEE Program is making a positive difference in South Carolina—bolstering research and education, attracting top scientists, and growing our knowledge economy,” said CoEE Review Board Chair Paula Harper Bethea. “The new site will be a great tool for the many audiences who want to stay up to date on the CoEE Program such as the research universities, members of the S.C. General Assembly, companies in South Carolina, and even the public at large.”

The new web site also contains a section detailing the benefits of investment for private, municipal, or federal partners, along with a list of some of the ways the program has positively impacted the state over the past five years.

The S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence Program was established by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2002, with $200 million designated from the South Carolina Education Lottery Account to fund the program through 2010.

The legislation authorizes the state’s three public research institutions (Clemson, MUSC and USC) to use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence in research areas that will advance South Carolina’s economy.

Each Center of Economic Excellence is awarded between $2 million to $5 million in state funds, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with federal, private or municipal funds. The program also supports CoEE endowed chairs, world-renowned scientists who lead the Centers of Economic Excellence. By investing in talent and technology, the CoEE Program is designed to help fuel the state’s knowledge economy, resulting in higher paying jobs and an improved standard of living in South Carolina.

To receive funding for a CoEE, the research universities submit proposals that undergo a three-tier review process. Each proposal is first subjected to a technical review by field experts. After studying the technical review scores, the CoEE Review Board decides which proposals qualify for evaluation by an onsite review panel. This external review panel is composed mainly of senior research officials from Association of American University institutions. The review panel visits each university, hears presentations on each proposal and interviews investigators and other university personnel. The review panel submits a final report, with recommendations for funding, to the CoEE Review Board. The Review Board then votes on which new Centers of Economic Excellence to fund.

For more information, please visit www.sccoee.org