Translating Research Into Economic Growth

Research is an investment in the future. Basic research becomes applied research that becomes jobs for the 21st century.

For 125 years, North Carolina State University has linked scientific innovation to economic gains within the state and beyond. That tradition continues with research funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — the subject of this issue of Results.

From building a better antenna to designing new drugs for Parkinson’s disease, NC State has been an excellent steward of the nearly $60 million it received in Recovery Act funding. We invite you to learn more about the ways your tax dollars were used to conduct relevant research that is helping to create economic opportunities and improve people’s lives. “Research is an investment in the future. Basic research becomes applied research that becomes jobs for the 21st century,” explains Bob Etheridge, who leads the N.C. Office of Economic Recovery and Investment.

At NC State, that is our mantra. We expect research results to spin off into new products, new companies and new jobs. That expectation was reinforced last year when Chancellor Randy Woodson added Innovation to the mission of the Office of Research. This year, we’re taking that mission a step further. On July 1, 2011, the University’s Economic Development Partnership joined our team. We will be officially known as the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development — a combination that brings together the key components of the continuum into a networked team.

Ken Atkins, who heads Wake County Economic Development, says this change demonstrates NC State’s commitment to job creation, adding, “As we grow our technology-based industry clusters and recruit talent, our partnership with NC State continues to be one of the most important elements in our success. The work that the University does with our existing companies and prospective clients places us at a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing global marketplace.”

Our goals are ambitious: We intend to increase our industry-sponsored research and partnerships, and to double the number of start-up companies launched through the University by 2015. By reorganizing and reprioritizing, NC State is primed for results.

TERRI L. LOMAX
Vice Chancellor for
Research, Innovation and
Economic Development

 

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Vice Chancellor Terri L. Lomax chats with Joseph W. Forbes of Consert Inc., center, at a meeting of the White Wouse Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.