Q. What are the most active technology niches?
A. As the aerospace and automotive industries grow, so does the advanced materials sector. South Carolina has a rich history in the textile industry. These advanced materials are the textiles of the future, for aerospace, automotive, building construction, and defense technologies applications. Two of the state's major research universities, Clemson University (Advanced Materials Center) and University of South Carolina (NanoCenter), have departments dedicated to research in advanced materials.
DuPont's plans for a $500 million new plant at its Berkeley County facility will significantly expand production of high-performance Kevlar para-aramid-brand fiber for industrial and military uses.
Cytec will invest $150 million to expand its Greenville facility to manufacture high volumes of carbon fiber for applications including commercial aerospace, automotive and military.
Eastman Chemical's $230 million investment in Calhoun County last year will establish the second Eastman facility in North America to produce the copolyester family of specialty plastics.
Q. Any energy news?
A. South Carolina has the most nuclear capacity of all Southeastern states, ranking third among the 31 states with nuclear power capacity. Two new generators are currently moving through the approval process. The University of South Carolina also has a nationally-recognized nuclear engineering program.
Additionally, Savannah River National Laboratory, one of 12 U.S. national labs, focuses on national and homeland security, energy security, and environmental and chemical process technology.
The Washington division of URS will open the URS Nuclear Center in Lancaster County, to serve as the headquarters for its commercial nuclear energy engineering and construction business, which is expected to employ more than 400 nuclear professionals over the next several years.
Duke Power is currently in the approval process for a new $4 billion nuclear power plant that will create 800 jobs.
Q. What incentives are targeted specifically towards technology development?
A. To encourage research and development activities in a taxable year, South Carolina offers a credit equal to 5 percent of the taxpayer's qualified research expenses, as defined in Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code, in the state. The credit taken in any one taxable year may not exceed 50 percent of the company's remaining tax liability after all other credits have been applied. Any unused portion of the credit can be carried forward for 10 years from the date of the qualified expenditure.