SCRA contributes over $1.19 billion to South Carolina’s economy

January 17, 2024

South Carolina Research Authority had over a $1.19 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2023. Their recently published annual report shows what’s included in the billion-plus-dollar impact, determined by a study conducted at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business.

In 2023, SCRA and its investment affiliate, SC Launch Inc.:

  • Supported 5,825 South Carolina-based jobs. The average salary for SCRA Member Companies and SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Companies was $91,209, 70% higher than the state’s average of $53,618.
  • Generated $330 million in additional investment capital for its supported startups to grow their companies, bringing the total to $2.66 billion since SC Launch Inc started in 2006. This follow-on funding resulted in an additional up to $680 million in economic impact and 3,352 South Carolina-based jobs.
  • Owned or managed 1.38 million square feet of lab, office, and collaborative space.
  • Awarded $4.8 million in grants and investments to SCRA Member CompaniesSC Launch Inc. Portfolio Companies, and South Carolina colleges and universities to:
  • Bolster the growth of startup companies.
  • Advance research and development that creates new products and services.
  • Solve industry needs by demonstrating new technologies that advance manufacturing.
  • Bring new technology-based companies to South Carolina.

“SCRA is a major contributor to our state’s economy. The support they provide to bring innovation to the market creates high-wage, high-skilled jobs, improves productivity, and helps to increase South Carolina’s long-term economic growth,” said USC Darla Moore School of Business Research Economist Dr. Joseph Von Nessen. “In addition, SCRA maintains a strong employment multiplier effect, with every ten jobs created directly through SCRA leading to an additional 16 jobs that are created elsewhere in South Carolina.”

In addition to higher-paying job creation and behind the impressive impact metrics, there are compelling stories of SCRA fueling innovation in healthcare, the environment, and consumer products and services, to name a few. Heartbeat Technologies is designed to save lives and improve cardiac arrest outcomes, Bubble Paper is revolutionizing the packaging industry while eliminating the use of plastics, and WAVS Custom is improving earpiece listening capabilities.

“Each year, our team outdoes itself with their commitment to our state. Their hard work and dedication are evident in their time with our Member Companies, SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Companies, academic research teams, industry partners, and the tenants we serve. That results in our overall success and positive impact on South Carolina,” said President and CEO Bob Quinn. “In addition, our success would not be possible without those who meet their state tax obligations by contributing to our Industry Partnership Fund.”

SCRA celebrated forty years in 2023, which included an exclusive interview with its founder, Secretary Dick Riley, who formed SCRA while serving as governor in 1983.


About SCRA

Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, South Carolina Research Authority fuels the state’s innovation economy through the impact of its comprehensive services to technology-based startups, academia, and industry. SCRA provides funding and support to accelerate the growth of academic startups; high-quality lab and administrative workspaces; facilitation and funding for partnerships between and among industry, startups, and academic institutions; assistance and funding for the relocation of technology-based companies to South Carolina; and coaching and funding for startups that may also receive investments from its affiliate, SC Launch Inc.