PIONEERING INNOVATION IN THE UPSTATE
Upstate South Carolina is home to premier life science industry and research partnerships that are making important breakthroughs each year. The region has a long-established history and infrastructure, with companies supplying high purity raw materials and components to production and packaging and distribution. Research and innovation campuses support the growth of longstanding industry players, and there’s a robust ecosystem for start-ups.
South Carolina boasts significant business activity within the medical device sector and a particularly robust medical device manufacturing supply chain. From 2017-2022, companies in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing experienced job growth of 60%. Since it entered the Upstate in 2019, orthopedic surgical device leader Arthrex has forged workforce partnerships for technical and professional roles as it has grown to 1,200+ employees on its product manufacturing campus.
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals
Upstate South Carolina has an established base of pharmaceutical manufacturers comprised of bulk manufacturers, chemical processors, generic and proprietary drug makers and packagers. We are home to global leaders like Bausch + Lomb, whose Consumer Health Care manufacturing facility opened in 1983, and companies with emerging applications, like Zylö Therapeutics, which closed $5.225 Million in Series B Financing.
Digital Health Solutions
Upstate medical technology companies are revolutionizing data management, finding our region a supportive, business-friendly environment for companies to grow. Sync.MD relocated its business from the Pacific Northwest to the Upstate, and homegrown ChartSpan has called upon startup support resources as it has grown into the largest managed care service provider in the U.S.
Research & Development
As home to two medical research institutions, the Upstate has a strong network supporting clinical research and a growing patient catchment area. Our region is home to a variety of incubation spaces and more than 530 clinical trials across oncology, companion diagnostics, genetics and medical devices.
We’re leading the way in genetic research through the Clemson Center for Human Genetics and the Greenwood Genetic Center, a nonprofit organization advancing the field of medical genetics through research, diagnostics and genetic consultations.
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) Carolinas Campus in Spartanburg are preparing physicians for practice through integrated curriculum and applied research.
Life Sciences Cluster Support & Lab Space
SCbio is a statewide, non-profit, industry association and economic development organization tasked with building the business of life sciences in South Carolina’s life sciences industry. To promote growth, SCbio focuses on workforce, policy, marketing, entrepreneurship and business development. The organization also serves as official state affiliate of BIO — the U.S. Biotechnology Innovation Organization — and of PhRMA — the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, as well as AdvaMed — the Advanced Medical Technology Association.
Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBEInC)
CUBEInC is a 30,000-square-foot research facility located on the Prisma Health’s Patewood campus, focusing on developing high-impact medical technology and devices for disease management. At CUBEInC, Clemson faculty and students work closely with researchers from Prisma Health and the Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas in the fields of biomaterials and devices.
Main Street Labs
Located in the heart of downtown Greenville, Main Street Labs is a 100,000-square-foot laboratory hub for life sciences. The life sciences incubator has configurable workspaces, wet lab facilities, 2,500 parking spaces within two blocks, backup power and a common building and shipping delivery area. It is home to Kiyatec Inc., a clinical stage cancer diagnostics company born from technology developed at Clemson University.
The Upstate has a network of more than 26 colleges and universities actively working together with industry leaders and educators on all levels, from K-12 to technical training and professional advancement, to ensure access to a highly-skilled workforce for decades to come.
Clemson University Bioengineering
Clemson University’s Department of Bioengineering has been widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of biomaterials science and engineering and is renowned for its leadership in biomaterials research and education, with emphasis on: regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, imaging, wound healing, drug delivery, and biomechanics.
Upstate South Carolina is home to four technical colleges focused on serving the needs of local business and industry. The technical college system works hand-in-hand with its affiliate programs: readySC™, Apprenticeship Carolina™ and QuickJobs Carolina™, so companies located in the area can take full advantage of the extensive education and training network. South Carolina has a strong workforce development system. With these resources, the Upstate is capable of rapidly preparing and retraining workers for new manufacturing systems, such as those potentially required by bio-related operations.
Legal and Financial Support
Intellectual Property and Contract Law Professionals
The Upstate provides a rich environment of legal support, with more than 100 attorneys and agents with licenses to practice before the US Patent & Trademark Office. As your connection to the Upstate Life Sciences industry, we can connect you with these support providers.
Start-Up Grants & Seed Funding
The South Carolina Research Authority supports the innovation economy through start-up funding, research funding and research, lab and collaboration space. Its investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit corporation that provides convertible loans and investment funding to qualifying SCRA Member Companies. Since the inception of SC Launch in 2006, companies have received $2.6 billion in follow-on funding. The returns on this funding provide additional coaching and grants to next-generation technology startups.
VentureSouth is an early stage venture firm that provides capital and expertise to Southeastern startups though an angel investment network and funds. VentureSouth has grown to include more than 550 active investors, making them one of the largest angel investment groups in the United States. To date, VentureSouth has invested more than $80 million in nearly 100 companies.