June 3, 2019
I am delighted to introduce this issue of Research North Carolina, a forum for sharing information from North Carolina institutions and companies about their research programs and achievements.
Research-based innovation is a force multiplier, providing a first-mover advantage in new products and services, expanding exports, and creating expansionary employment effects. It also helps power a virtuous cycle of expanding employment, which in turn leads to increased wages and lower prices, both of which expand domestic economic activity and create jobs.
In the words of Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer (1993), “No amount of savings and investment, no policy of macroeconomic fine-tuning, no set of tax and spending can generate sustained economic growth unless it is accompanied by the countless large and small discoveries that are required to create more value from a fixed set of natural resources.” For North Carolina, this means our ability to thrive in the increasingly dynamic, global economy depends, fundamentally, on how much we infuse research and innovation throughout our economic system.
As shown in the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation’s most recent Tracking Innovation report, one of our state’s strongest sources of research and innovation is its universities. North Carolina’s academic R&D expenditures relative to the size of its economy now rank the third highest in the nation. And over the last 15 years, North Carolina’s academic R&D intensity has been growing at a rate more than three times faster than the U.S. rate overall.
Additionally, North Carolina’s high-technology sectors are increasing in employment and have wages nearly twice as high as the U.S. average for all industries. Our high-tech business formation is outpacing the national average by more than 20 percentage points. And our manufacturing output as a function of total GDP ranks among the top five states in the country, performing at more than 150 percent of the U.S. average. These patterns are driving productivity and job gains in high-technology, high-skill industries.
This special section, Research North Carolina, is a great way to learn in more detail about the types of technology based activities that underlie these statistics and are helping to grow our economy in North Carolina. A high-productivity, high-employment, high-income, growing economy must be a high-technology economy driven by research and innovation.
I invite you to read Research North Carolina and to join in these efforts.
John W. Hardin
Table of Contents
Building infrastructure, empowering human potential
Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens
Appalachian State University
Innovation serving education
Carolina Biological Supply Company’s innovative products support students and educators at every level
Carolina Biological Supply Company
ECU planning for the future of industrial hemp manufacturing
East Carolina University
Fayetteville Technical Community College offers a new construction trades course for local soldiers
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Three months to a new career
BioWork’s flexible training program prepares students for employment
Results in research
RTI International – celebrating 60 years living its mission
SBDTC linking future business leaders with emerging tech companies
Small Business and Technology Development Center
Partnerships drive discovery at UNC-Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Driving forward innovation
UNC Charlotte’s EPIC center is ahead of the future in electric vehicles
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Big data boom
Developing smarter solutions to real-world problems
Expanding a culture of innovation
UNCW’s widespread research initiatives earn national recognition and have global significance
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Improving health through innovation
Research at Wake Forest School of Medicine translates into better care for North Carolina…and beyond
Wake Forest School of Medicine