The South Carolina Research Authority has a $1 billion impact on the state’s innovation economy, according to an analysis released by the nonprofit corporation chartered to fuel innovation.
That impact includes 5,429 S.C.-based jobs supported by SCRA programs and operations, $4.6 million in research grants and a $73,811 average salary of in SCRA-supported companies, according to a news release from the nonprofit. That's 53% higher than the state average of $48,097.
“SCRA again has proven how important it is to our state’s economy,” Joey Von Nessen, a University of South Carolina research economist who prepared the analysis, said in the release. “The funding and other support they provide to tech startups and academic institutions produce higher-paying jobs. This has a direct impact on our state’s economy. South Carolina is becoming a state known for its growing knowledge-based economy, and SCRA is a major catalyst for this growth.”
SCRA recently published its findings in its annual report.
The economic impact analysis also found that companies received $722 million in 2021 through SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch Inc., from venture capitalists. SC Launch has received a $2.2 billion infusion since its 2006 inception, according to the release.
Many member companies and SC Launch portfolio companies increased staff and expanded operations last year, with some relocating to South Carolina from other states, SCRA said. For example, mobile health records provider VYRTY Corp. (doing business as SyncMD) received a $50,000 relocation grant to aid its move from Seattle to Anderson.
“I often talk about how exciting it is to see innovation develop and grow in our state,” Bob Quinn, SCRA executive director, said. “We not only have a front-row seat, but we also have the honor and responsibility to help it grow. Our team shares my passion, and it’s evident in our daily activities.”