Hydrogen energy –and its business potential–got a vote of confidence from private industry Monday.
Fluor Corporation and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions gave $1.5 million Monday to fund two endowed chairs and establishing the University of South Carolina’s Center of Economic Excellence for the Hydrogen Economy. The gift represents a university-industry partnership between USC, Fluor, and SRNS to “advance the science, techonology and commercialization of clean, secure, renewable energy and its infrastructure,” the school announced.
The Centers of Economic Excellence program was launched by the legislature nine years ago. It allows the state’s three public research universities–-USC, MUSC, and Clemson–-to use lottery funds to create research centers aimed at growing the state’s economy into new scientific fields.
The funds, which will be matched by the state’s lottery money through the CoEE program, will allow USC to fill a Discovery Chair in the College of Engineering and Computing and an Innovation Chair in the Darla Moore School of Business with two world-class scientists.
AUDIO: USC President Harris Pastides says this “accelerates” the university’s existing hydrogen program (1:20)
Founded by the General Assembly in 2002, the CoEE program authorizes USC, Clemson, and the Medical University of South Carolina to utilize state funds, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with non-state funds, to establish centers in research areas that will advance the state’s economy.