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South Carolina Research Authority

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The South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) is a South Carolina-based tax-exempt organization created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1983. The Research Authority manages federal research projects and collaborates with industry and universities to promote high-tech development.

SCRA currently manages over 100 national and international applied R&D programs worth over $1.5B in contract value.

SCRA’s Applied R&D Division, formerly known as Advanced Technology International, leads applied research collaborations that develop technologies which are aimed at improve the mission effectiveness of Federal agencies and the business execution of corporations.

Another affiliate, SC Launch is an economic development program that is intended to help early-stage companies to commercialize innovations and create jobs. SC Launch was recognized by Forbes as one of the leading state-based economic development programs in the US.[citation needed]

In support of both missions, SCRA builds and manages research facilities that include wet labs, secure rooms for sensitive work and advanced, high-tech manufacturing shops.


Bill Mahoney is the Chief Executive Officer, Julia Martin is the Chief Financial Officer and Rick Self is the President of the Applied R&D Division.

During fiscal year 2010, Chief Executive Officer Bill Mahoney earned $253,436 a year plus a bonus of $125,189 for total compensation of $378,625. Over the past three years, Mahoney has earned bonuses of more than $320,000 to go with a total salary of more than $727,000, making his compensation more than $1 million during the time period.

In addition, Chief Operating Officer Greg Frank earned $281,081 and a bonus of $86,400; Chief Financial Officer Julia Martin received a bonus of $84,447 along with her $205,919 salary; Chief Executive Vice President Richard Self netted a $85,504 bonus on top of his salary of $201,578; and Senior Executive Vice President John Gregg received a bonus of $78,678 in addition to a salary of $190,100.

SCRA’s Strategic Advisory Group is composed of representatives for the United States Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as large industry, small business and the venture capital investment community. These members assist in forming SCRA’s long-term strategic business plan. Present members include former governor James H. Hodges, General Charles E. Wilhelm USMC (ret.), Ambassador David H. Wilkins and Admiral Timothy J. Keating USN (Ret.).[1]

Economic output

A study completed in 2005 using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's REMI Model revealed that SCRA’s cumulative economic impact in South Carolina since its 1983 inception had been $6.9 billion.[citation needed] SCRA’s annual impact using the MIT Model was $1.2 billion.[citation needed] In 2008, a follow-on study by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina conducted by Dr. Doug Woodward discovered that SCRA’s annual impact had risen to $1.4 billion.[citation needed] Today, SCRA’s total cumulative economic impact in the state of South Carolina now exceeds $13 billion.[citation needed]

SCRA History

In 1983 the South Carolina General Assembly made a one-time grant of $500,000 and 1,400 acres of undeveloped land to form SCRA. SCRA has been self-sustaining since inception, relying on mostly on fees earned on the applied research programs it creates and leads. SCRA affiliate SC Launch receives $6 million annually under the Industry Partners Fund, which provides the working capital seed grants to new technology companies in accordance with SCRA's economic development mission. Donations to the Industry Partners Fund are good for a 100 percent, dollar-for-dollar credit against state taxes. Since 2006, SC Launch has received $30 million total from the Industry Partners Fund.

SCRA is exempt from income, sales and property taxes under its enabling legislation.


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