Keith Nichols, News Services, 919/515-3470
Mar. 30, 2006
NC State Leads Consortium To Attract Homeland Security Facility
North Carolina State University leads a consortium that has submitted a proposal to the
Department of Homeland Security to bring the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility
(NBAF) to North Carolina. The projected planning and construction cost for the facility is
about $450 million.
NBAF is envisioned as a new integrated human and animal disease research center with
diagnostic, development and testing capabilities that would strengthen public security and
national security against emerging and foreign disease threats. The 500,000-square-foot facility
would complement the work of the departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services,
and Homeland Security. More than 250 research scientists, technicians and support staff will be
engaged in research and development for diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines.
“North Carolina not only meets the criteria established by the government, but the state
also possesses unique leadership strengths in the areas of biomedical, plant and animal
agricultural enterprises, and premier science and technology parks,” Dr. Warwick Arden, dean of
NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said. “NC State and its consortium partners provide
the veterinary expertise, research science, and national and international contacts needed to
successfully contribute to such a large project.
“Over 30 years, the state has made a commitment to providing the infrastructure and
resources to become a world leader in biomedical and information technology, and our
communities have developed and prospered from this foresight. Dynamic collaborations are the
norm among our universities, industries and government partners.”
NC State is joined by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University,
North Carolina Central University, Wake Forest University and East Carolina University, with
support from multiple state agencies, North Carolina’s agricultural private sector, federal
agencies and nonprofit agencies.
Arden added that NC State has built its expertise in homeland security issues through its
role in the Agriculture Disaster Research Institute, the Animal Biosecurity Risk Management
Group, Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database (FARAD), the USDA Food Safety Research
and Response Network, and other food safety and animal disease research. NC State also is
participating in several projects with homeland security impacts, such as textile research for first
responders protective equipment, multidisciplinary projects studying the impact of potential
terrorist activities, and a multi-state center for post-harvest food security issues.
According to the call for proposals, selection of the NBAF site will be based on
availability of medical, veterinary, agricultural and public health programs; research and
biomanufacturing capabilities; a trained workforce; supporting infrastructure; easy access to
highways and airports; and community support. Several sites across the state would be
considered for locating the facility, should it be awarded to North Carolina. The facility would
be built on about 30 acres.
Several states and consortia across the United States are expected to compete for the
NBAF. The decision process will take a minimum of six months.