By Dr. John Hardin
Office of Science, Technology & Innovation
I am pleased 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 – an accelerator that helps create new industries, make existing ones globally competitive, and drive economic growth and well-being. North Carolina’s ability to thrive in this increasingly dynamic, global economy depends, fundamentally, on how much it infuses innovation throughout our economic system. Our future success will be determined by what we do now – the quality of our vision, how we invest, how we prioritize, and how we respond to the challenges of an evolving economy.
As shown in the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation’s most recent Tracking Innovation report, released last December, one of our state’s strongest sources of innovation is its universities. North Carolina’s academic R&D expenditures relative to the size of its economy rank the fourth highest in the nation. Compared to the nation overall, North Carolina’s academic R&D intensity is 150 percent of the U.S. value, meaning that the amount of academic R&D in the state is 50 percent higher than what we would expect based on the levels of academic R&D in all other states.
North Carolina also has one of the fastest growing populations in the country, and its high-technology sectors are increasing in employment and have wages nearly twice as high as the U.S. average for all industries. The state’s companies are also leading the way, with high-tech startups forming in North Carolina at rate nearly 25 percent higher than the national average – and climbing. Moreover, North Carolina manufacturing output as a function of total GDP ranks 4th in the country, performing at 164 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. Together, these effects lead to a virtuous cycle of expanding employment, as well as increased wages and lower prices, all of which expand domestic economic activity and create jobs. 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.
To see other articles in the section click the links below.
East Carolina University: Cultivating rural prosperity
Fayetteville Technical Community College: Fayetteville Tech primes the pump
UNC Greensboro: Buzzworthy business at UNCG
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Carolina innovates
University of North Carolina at Charlotte: EPIC’s powerful impact
University of North Carolina at Wilmington: UNCW has global impact
Small Business and Technology Development Center: Helping tech firms soar