The South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) is a proud, active partner of the Columbia Region Economic Development Project. The Project was borne out of a study by Deloitte Consulting that analyzed the region’s capacity to grow employment in the targeted industry segments. The study was used to develop a detailed action plan that mitigates competitive weaknesses and builds on the region’s strengths. To assess the region’s competitive position, Deloitte will measure the region’s capacity to support industry expansion compared with more than two dozen other metro areas that are hotbeds of knowledge industry growth.
The Columbia Region Economic Development Project is specifically designed to take advantage of the growing base of research, innovation and industry partnerships at the University of South Carolina, as well as the work and initiatives of SCRA.
Additionally, the Project will identify opportunities to improve the region’s competitive position in a variety of areas, including:
- Enhancing education/training programs based on an analysis of industry needs
- Expanding programs that build the talent pipeline
- Ensuring there is sufficient infrastructure (e.g., wet labs, broadband, real estate) to support the targeted industries
- Restructuring state/local education and training incentives and other state/local incentives to ensure they are competitive nationally
The Project plan includes provisions for growing existing small firms and attracting new, innovative small firms within the targeted industry segments, and will focus on firms capable of building university partnerships.