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Samsung to partner with USC, Clemson on research and development

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Samsung Electronics has formed a five-year research and development partnership with the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.

The company, with help from state government, will create the Palmetto Consortium for Home Appliance Innovation.

“Samsung’s ambition is for South Carolina to become our U.S. hub for every stage in the home appliance lifecycle, from concept and R&D, to manufacturing, quality assurance, distribution and customer care,” said Dr. Dochul Choi, senior vice president of R&D at Samsung Electronics America. “Today’s announcement is a down payment on that vision. By investing in R&D and the future of our workforce, we can better position Samsung and South Carolina to meet the high demands and desires of customers across America, our fastest-growing and most important home appliance market.”

The five-year partnership will foster research into areas such as new consumer electronics, energy-efficient technology, advanced manufacturing technology, sensor technology and other core innovations.

“With this partnership with two of our top research universities, Samsung is furthering its commitment to South Carolina, and to its success here,” Choi said. “We look forward to seeing the developments that will come from the collaboration between this world-class technology company and some of the brightest minds in our state.”

Samsung selected USC and Clemson because of the schools' nationally renowed research programs in engineering, information technology and computer science, the company said. 

“The University of South Carolina brings an array of expertise and experience to this new consortium — from engineering and computing to design and global business knowledge,” University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides said. “We are eager to get started on new innovations that benefit both consumers and our workforce. Our researchers and students have a long track record of successful private sector partnerships, from Boeing to IBM, and we are committed to helping bring new technologies to market.”

Clemson president James P. Clements echoed those sentiments.

“Clemson University has a strong history of collaborating on R&D opportunities with the best companies in South Carolina and from around the world,” Clements said. “We are extremely excited about Samsung’s commitment to South Carolina and look forward to working with the company on efforts ranging from workforce development to utilization of our newly announced Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

“Clemson has significant assets and is prepared to make a strong commitment to helping ensure that Samsung is successful both in South Carolina and the world.”

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster called Samsung’s collaboration with the state universities a great success story for the state and a demonstration of its ability to provide both work and innovation.

In June, Samsung announced it would open a $380 million, 453,000-square-foot home appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry. The facility is the South Korean manufacturer’s first U.S.-based home appliance manufacturing site.   

Samsung has hired more than 350 employees at the plant, where washing machine production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018, and expects to hire 1,000 by 2020.

The company has said that timetable remains on schedule despite uncertainty surrounding last month’s vote by the International Trade Commission to levy higher tariffs on Samsung washers. The ITC found Samsung violated U.S. anti-dumping regulations by producing washing machines overseas and importing them to the U.S. to sell at artificially low prices. 

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