Claflin University and Furman University are among ten South Carolina colleges and universities that will receive National Science Foundation funding as a part of the MADE In SC Initiative.
The new initiative — Materials Assembly and Design Excellence in South Carolina — comprises a broad spectrum of faculty teams. South Carolina is one of five states to receive nearly $20 million each from the National Science Foundation through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which builds research and development capacity in states that demonstrate a commitment to research but have thus far lacked the levels of investment seen in other parts of the country.
South Carolina’s EPSCoR MADE In SC project will advance fundamental knowledge of complex materials while simultaneously working toward the development of products with valuable commercial applications, such as improved lasers, water treatment and regenerative medicine. The project will accelerate the development of novel materials, combining computational and experimental methods to predict and test materials properties and apply that knowledge to enable more targeted design of new materials. This project will focus on intelligently designed optical and magnetic materials, polymers and materials that respond to stimuli and material that can interact and become integrated with living tissue.
Claflin will receive $450,000 over five years to assist with the Master of Science in biotechnology degree program. Dr. Verlie Tisdale, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, will serve as the institutional director for the project at Claflin.
Furman will receive $1.3 million to provide for faculty stipends and purchase new research equipment. Some of the funds will also be used to engage K-12 teachers in materials science training through Furman’s Office of Integrative Research in the Sciences.
The Principal Investigator for MADE In SC is Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, vice President for research at the University of South Carolina. In addition to Claflin, Furman, and USC-Columbia, the other seven SC colleges and universities participating in MADE In SC are Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, USC-Beaufort, Winthrop University, South Carolina State University, and Florence-Darlington Technical College.
“We will build on the impressive network of expertise and infrastructure that already exists in the state, further strengthening our reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse, and growing our materials research and development enterprise to new heights,” said Nagarkatti.
Among the current corporations in South Carolina for which Made in SC will provide support and future employees are AVX, BMW, Boeing, Cure Innovations, GE, IBM, Michelin, Milliken, Poly-Med, Savannah River National Laboratory, and Tetramer.
More information regarding the MADE In SC program can be found here.