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Clemson Receives $2 Million for Advanced Materials Research

June 8, 2016

Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and Films work supports Upstate advanced materials growthOgale-Clemson-Materials-Research.png

Dr. Amod Ogale, director of Clemson University’s Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and Films, recently received $2 million for collaborative research that aims to lower the cost of carbon fibers.

According to a Clemson University news release, Ogale’s latest round of funding comes as part of a collaboration with the Center for Composite Materials at University of Delaware. The center, which is leading the research, has received $14.9 million from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency for the Tailorable Feedstock and Forming Program.

We congratulate Dr. Ogale on his research and collaboration with multiple agencies to seek solutions for the advanced materials sector, which supports the Upstate’s strong automotive and aerospace presences and has grown in its own right in recent years.

Materials such as the composites and carbon fiber products being researched by Ogale are at the core of “light weighting” – improving upon design so that products weigh less and are therefore more fuel efficient, easier to transport and more appealing to consumers (in the case of products such as bicycles and golf clubs). It’s been a practice among by the aerospace sector for years as aircraft producers have created lighter, faster and more fuel efficient aircraft to meet the needs of their commercial and military customers. It is also a growing focus for the automotive industry, where vehicle manufacturers are seeking lightweight, yet durable, materials that allow them to meet increasing fuel economy requirements and safety standards.

In the Upstate, advanced materials companies employ 38,883, which is 77 percent above the national average and growing, with 1 percent growth from 2014-2015.

We’ve seen tremendous growth in the sector, which includes plastics companies such as Plastic Omnium, Mitsubishi Polyester Film; optics and photonics producers such as AFL Telecommunications and Ceramtec; advanced textiles manufacturers such as BBA Fiberweb and Cytec Carbon Fiber; and metalworking and fabrication such as Fisher Barton and Spartanburg Steel.

The Upstate Alliance recently participated in the Global Cities Initiative, which included a market assessment and development of a regional foreign-direct investment plan that was launched in March. Within the FDI plan, advanced materials was identified as a sector where innovation from Upstate companies can catapult successful solutions across a global footprint with added investment or if R&D technologies are spun out or commercialized in partnership with other local small and medium-sized enterprises. It’s also a sector with strong demonstrated collaboration between Clemson University and industrial partners such as Milliken, Michelin and Sealed Air.

So far this year, the Upstate has seen four new and three expansion announcements among advanced materials companies, with a total capital investment of $158,350,000 and 472 jobs. Utilization of advanced materials translates into jobs in materials production, logistics, and development of new process for the manufacturing of materials. Presence of these suppliers also supports major existing employers who utilize advanced materials, such as BMW, GE and Lockheed Martin.

Dr. Amod Ogale’s research innovation demonstrates the vital partnerships between Clemson’s academic researchers and area manufacturers to explore solutions to today’s challenges. This relationship, through the presence of Clemson graduates and Clemson’s research centers, gives the Upstate an advantage when recruiting businesses. 

New advanced materials announcements, 2016 year-to-date: 

  • Proper Polymers’ announcement of $15,450,000 and 87 jobs in Greenville County 
  • Baxter Enterprises, Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering’s announcement of $20,700,000 investment and 87 jobs in Oconee County
  • Jiangnan Mold Plastic Technology Corporation’s $45 million investment and 150 jobs in Spartanburg County
  • WG Plastics Technology Corporation’s announcement of $2.7 million and 50 jobs in Abbeville County

Advanced Materials Expansion Announcements, 2016 year-to-date: 

  • D&W Fine Pack adding $20 million and 60 jobs in Laurens County
  • Fitesa Simpsonville adding $52 million and 38 jobs in Greenville County
  • Synalloy adding $2.5 million in Laurens County

Want more information on the advanced materials industry in Upstate South Carolina? Let our Business Recruitment team assist your company in finding the perfect location, gathering critical market intelligence and making business connections.

Jacob Hickman
Director of Business Recruitment
[email protected]

Photograph of Dr. Ogale’s research team provided by Clemson University. 

TOPICS: Upstate Thoughts, News You Can Use, Colleges & Universities