State of South Carolina Establishes South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance

The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness (The Council), in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering CESE in Maryland announced today the establishment of the South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance (SCFUSA). The Alliance is a collaborative effort to advance applied research in engineering and technology across the state of South Carolina with the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering CESE and South Carolina research institutions.

Today’s announcement was made at the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, Inc. (GACC South) SME Business Development Conference before an audience of professionals from across various industries representing companies with a wide regional, national, and international presence.

Susie Shannon, President & CEO of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, says that the work of the Alliance and the research it will support will give the state even more of a competitive edge in advancing applied research and innovation that can move industries forward. “A cornerstone of our work at the Council is to support our industry clusters by furthering actionable research studies that empower companies with the information needed to grow and sustain their competitiveness. So, we’re very proud to be entering into this partnership with the Department of Commerce and Fraunhofer USA to manage the Alliance and to help raise South Carolina’s national and international profile as a leading provider of industry research and technology.”

South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt says, “This new partnership with the prestigious Fraunhofer network gives South Carolina a unique competitive advantage by introducing a model to bring the state’s universities into the problem-solving needs of our companies.  The creation of the South Carolina Fraunhofer USA Alliance reinforces our reputation as a business-friendly state that supports advanced research, and we’re excited about the innovation that will result from this initiative.”

Dr. Adam Porter, Executive Director of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering CESE expressed his enthusiasm for expanding the partnership between Fraunhofer USA and the state of South Carolina. “Fraunhofer USA is excited to expand its presence in South Carolina. Our mission is to get technology to companies so they can be more successful. Working together with highly creative researchers at South Carolina universities, statewide leadership organizations like the Council on Competitiveness, and forward-looking South Carolina companies, we can do just that!”




About the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness

The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness – The Council – is a nonpartisan, business-led, nonprofit organization that drives South Carolina’s long-term economic growth by stewarding the state’s industry clusters and providing the research, network, and resources that industry clusters require to thrive.

Led by President and CEO, Susie Shannon, the Council manages multiple initiatives and industry clusters in South Carolina, including SC Aerospace, SC Logistics, Tech SC, and TransformSC.  It also provides resources and support to other clusters and initiatives across the state. Industry clusters are economic ecosystems of linked industries and other entities important to competition, like suppliers of components, machinery, and services. These inter-connected ecosystems cultivate a business environment that fosters innovation. Innovation, in turn, spurs new business ventures.


About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State ranked No. 1 in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign investment on a per capita basis in 2018 – extending its streak of top three finishes since 2011. Additionally, in five of seven years, the state has won the Gold Shovel Award from Area Development magazine; and, in 2017, the state was recognized as Business Facilities’ State of the Year. For more information, visit


About Fraunhofer USA

Fraunhofer USA, Inc.  is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in Rhode Island, dedicated to the advancement of applied research. Fraunhofer USA was founded in 1994 to conduct applied R & D for customers from industry and state and the federal government in the United States.

Working closely with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest application-oriented research and development organization and its sole corporate member, Fraunhofer USA can offer both domestic and international resources to enhance its portfolio of R & D services.

Fraunhofer USA CESE, one of seven Centers comprising Fraunhofer USA Inc., conducts applied research to support the software-enabled innovations created by our customers in industry, government, and academia. For more information, go to or contact Pete O’Neill, Fraunhofer USA CESE via phone at 301-314-6053 or via email at


 About the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, Inc.

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, Inc. (GACC South) was founded in 1978 to promote and support bilateral trade between Germany and the U.S. The GACC South is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with a branch office in Houston, Texas. The GACC South serves eleven Southern states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, two U.S. Territories – Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the Bahamas. In addition, five local chapters located in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas support the region, as well as our two affiliates the German American Business Chamber of South Florida (GABC) in Miami, Florida and the AlabamaGermany Partnership (AGP) in Birmingham, Alabama.

The GACC South is a private, non-profit organization and serves as the official representative of German industry and trade in the Southern U.S. It is part of an international network composed of 140 German Chambers of Commerce Abroad and government offices in 92 countries. The GACCs are one of the largest bi-national chambers in the U.S.

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