Growing Life Science Industry in Charleston | SC

Life Sciences - Charleston, SC

August 16, 2017

The SC Department of Commerce recently released its economic impact study of South Carolina’s Life Science industry, validating the significance of the sector to the state’s economy and its growth opportunities.

400 life science companies in SC generate $11.4 billion in annual economic impact, employ 15,000+ people, and pay 95% higher wages than the state’s average.

The SC Department of Commerce has demonstrated its commitment to growing this sector by: forming a strategic partnership with S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO), hiring a new Director of Innovation to support the start-up ecosystem and research, and designating members of the Global Business Development team to specialize in recruiting life sciences projects.

Life sciences is also an important driver for Charleston’s regional economy, and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) has developed a targeted business recruitment effort and strategy to strengthen collaboration among the local life science ecosystem. (We currently have 27 industry prospects in the pipeline.)

A diverse group of life science companies have grown or chosen to locate in Charleston (Check out Who’s Here).
Here are some reasons why:

  • The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) drives research and innovation. 12% increase in biomedical research funding since 2012
  • The Port of Charleston provides global access for companies that need to import parts or finished products for the U.S. or for exporters selling internationally
  • South Carolina’s pro-business climate and talent pool
  • Charleston ranks #1 mid-size metro for 5-year Job Growth in Scientific R&D firms – which translates to +1,202 jobs added from 2010-2015

Recent company announcements and construction activity are also positive indications of more to come:

  • Thorne Research’s new $35M headquarters, R&D, and manufacturing facility in Summerville
  • Alcami Corporation’s $5M expansion in North Charleston
  • Acquisition of a Charleston-based start-up, Cactus LLC by Stryker Corporation
  • Fitness First USA’s new wellness retail and education center in Mt. Pleasant
  • Groundbreaking of the first building in the WestEdge development, a 50-acre mixed-use community offers state-of-the-art lab and incubator space in the downtown medical district – a prime location for research and innovation.As one of the five high impact clusters in our region’s five-year strategy, One Region, the CRDA is committed to growing the life science sector with our local and state partners. Please contact us to learn more.


Click here for an industry profile on Charleston’s Life Science sector.

Upcoming Events: SCBIO Annual Conference will be held in Charleston this year on October 24-26th at The Gaillard Center. Check out updates on the conference here.

Contact Us:
843.767.9300 | [email protected]

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