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Commerce Department establishes $2 million aerospace endowment at USC

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The S.C. Department of Commerce has established a $2 million aerospace research endowment at the University of South Carolina’s College of Engineering and Computing in an effort to enhance the university’s ongoing partnership with Boeing.

The Boeing Endowment will support innovative teaching and research in the fields of material architecture and integrated intelligent manufacture systems. The grant will help bring Boeing professionals into the college and spur direct collaboration between USC faculty and company engineers.

“S.C. Commerce’s decision to fund this endowment speaks to the state’s commitment to advancing the aerospace sector in South Carolina,” Lane Ballard, vice president of materials and manufacturing technology at Boeing’s Research & Technology Center in South Carolina, said in a news release. “Boeing is committed to continuing our successful research collaboration with the University of South Carolina, which has the potential to revolutionize the aerospace industry in South Carolina and around the world.”

In August of 2015, Boeing and USC formed a research partnership with an investment of up to $5 million from Boeing through the McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research.

“We’re thrilled about our relationship with Boeing, which is a model partnership between industry and a major research university,” USC President Harris Pastides said. “The Boeing Endowment is a significant step forward in that relationship, demonstrating the trust that the preeminent aerospace industry leader has in our faculty and their research expertise.”

Boeing Co. has a complex of manufacturing and final assembly facilities in North Charleston, where the 787 Dreamliner is produced as part of a global supply chain. Boeing S.C. employs about 8,000 workers.

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