South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster recognized Feb. 15-19, 2021, as South Carolina Life Sciences Week in acknowledgment of the state’s growing life sciences industry. The announcement came during the conference of the South Carolina life science industry association, SCBIO.
The virtual conference had more than 600 registrants from across the U.S. and around the globe join in to discuss life sciences in the Palmetto State.
“South Carolina has developed a strong reputation as an emerging leader in the life sciences,” said McMaster. “Our innovative companies and exceptional workforce are key drivers in strengthening our economy and creating new opportunities for South Carolinians.”
Life sciences bring in an annual economic impact of more than $12 million to the state, reported SCBIO. Companies in the life sciences can be found in 42 out of the state’s 46 counties. In South Carolina, over 800 companies and 43,000 employees work in research, development and commercialization of innovative health care, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products.
More than 100 of those businesses have worked to combat the challenges that erupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the governor’s proclamation. That included organizations working on procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing and other health services.
“With an incredible pace of growth in the industry here, we know that the life sciences will continue to play a critically important role in our state’s economic success for generations to come,” McMaster said.
South Carolina life sciences has seen a doubling of firms and 40% increase in life sciences’ direct employment since 2017, which combine to make it the fastest growing industry sector in the state, according to recent data provided by Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, the state’s research economist and economic development expert with the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
“Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy today, and this conference is testament to the industry’s surging impact, reach and rapidly rising economic significance in our state and country,” said SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros. “We’re honored by Gov. McMaster’s recognition, and appreciate his personal support for the contributions that life sciences are making to improve quality of life, care and economic standing for South Carolina citizens.”