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Fluor, SRNS back USC hydrogen research with $1.5 million

Fluor CEO David Seaton and check symbolizing $1.5 million donation

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.

AUDIO: Fluor CEO David Seaton says this is a philanthropic donation–and an investment (1:28)

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.

USC President Pastides

AUDIO: USC President Harris Pastides says this “accelerates” the university’s existing hydrogen program (1:20)

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.

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