Chancellor's Report 2012 Economic Impact

Economic Impact

NC State started making an impact on North Carolina’s economy in 1887 by promoting the idea that scientific methods could help the state’s businesses — then mostly family farms — achieve economic success. Today, NC State continues to turn that idea into reality, and the results are remarkable. The discoveries coming out of NC State help drive the state’s economy in industries as diverse as computer gaming, textile manufacturing and advanced analytics — while still boosting poultry science and agriculture.

The high level of research support at NC State — where research expenditures reached a record $380 million last year — helps the university attract top faculty and provide unsurpassed learning opportunities for students. It’s a winning combination.

A case in point: NC State recently entered into a six-year, $10 million agreement with Eastman Chemical Company to conduct leading-edge research in chemistry, materials science and other scientific disciplines.

On Centennial Campus, the university’s award-winning research park, NC State has created programs such as the Technology Incubator and the Nonwovens Institute to attract industry clusters in high-growth fields including nanotechnology, smart energy grids and wireless networking. That’s why companies like IBM, SAS, Cisco and Siemens are excited to work with NC State researchers and eager to hire NC State graduates.

In 2012, NC State expanded the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund to support seven new technologies — ranging from robotic limbs and computer security to shape-shifting antennas and lighter body armor for soldiers — and help export these innovations to the marketplace. On top of that, efforts like New Venture Services and the NC State Fast 15 focus on attracting angel funding for the best commercial opportunities on campus.

The payoff? NC State research has resulted in more than 770 U.S. patents, 800 licensing agreements with industry partners, 240 new products, 90 spinoff companies, $1.5 billion in venture capital and thousands of new jobs.