Sputh Korean electronic giant Samsung Electronics Co. has signed a research and development (R&D) partnership with the two largest universities in the state of South Carolina in where the company is currently building its washing machine plant. This is Samsung’s second investment in South Carolina after the company’s announcement to establish its washing machine manufacturing facilities in June.
According to U.S. media, including Greenville, and Samsung Electronics’ Newsroom in the U.S. on December 11, Samsung Electronics recently formed the Palmetto Consortium with Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. The Consortium is a R&D program that Samsung Electronics and its local officials make joint investment in the next five years in order to make South Carolina as a hub for Samsung’s home appliances business.
With the establishment of home appliances plant in South Carolina, Samsung Electronics will work together with the two universities, which has the world-class level of R&D programs, for five years to develop new consumer electronics, energy efficient technology, advanced manufacturing technology, sensor technology and more.
“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 Choi Do-chul, 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 creation of the Consortium comes about six months after Samsung announced in June that it would open a new state-of-the-art home appliances manufacturing facility in Newberry where production of washers for the U.S. market is expected to begin in the first quarter 2018. Samsung Electronics plans to invest US$380 million (413.9 billion won) into the Newberry site, which is expected to create 1,000 local jobs, by 2020.
Some say that Samsung Electronics is making an additional R&D investment for the final decision of the Trump administration whether to impose safeguard restrictions on South Korean washers. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) insisted that U.S. manufacturers have been severely damaged by South Korean washers and sent safeguard recommendations to President Trump.