On September 20th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the awarding of seven contracts around the country for developing small business around existing Regional Innovation Clusters. They also announced three contracts for Advanced Security clusters. New Carolina was awarded $600,000 to develop small business within South Carolina’s nuclear cluster. The award can be renewed for a second year.
SBA received 170 applications for these 10 grants.
New Carolina’s partner in this endeavor is SCRA, which will manage the project and work with new businesses to assist in the transition of nuclear R&D technologies through their SC Launch program. There are many people who worked on the proposal, but we especially want to thank the Carolinas Nuclear Cluster Coordinator Scott Carlberg, who wrote most of the technical proposal, and SCRA’s Advanced Technology International office in Charleston, whose business models and expertise in federal proposal preparation and contracting ensured that a winning proposal was delivered and secured.
There are $20 billion of new nuclear plants proposed for South Carolina, and another $15 billion proposed for Georgia and North Carolina. All of the plants will use the Westinghouse AP 1000 reactor, of which 80% of the parts are currently manufactured offshore. These parts could well be manufactured here, while also making the cluster a key player on the international scale. The Carolinas Nuclear Cluster has already held numerous supplier conferences and has been working with the Nuclear Energy Institute to develop the industry supply chain. This SBA contract will greatly improve the ability of South Carolina companies to know how and where to compete for the business.
We look forward to working with the SBA and our many partners on this project. As Scott Carlberg said yesterday, “We intend to be the showcase for the rest of the nation.”