Competitive Advantages

Industry Facts

  • NC has 650+ bioscience and related companies in the state, employing about 45,000 people.
  • North Carolina ranks first in the nation for Contract Research Organizations, second in agricultural biotechnology research, third in biomanufacturing and fourth in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
  • Over 75 bioscience companies in the region employing more than 2,500 Life Science professionals.


Research Institutes, Programs and Resources

  • NC Biotechnology Center Regional Office –  The Center offers grant and loan programs designed to promote education and innovative research in biotechnology and to expand and grow biotechnology ventures across the State.
  • NOAA Underwater Research Center – housed in UNCW’s Center of Innovation, the NURC promotes basic and applied research in the fields of oceanography, coastal and wetland studies, marine biomedical and environmental physiology, and marine biotechnology and aquaculture.
  • North Carolina Aquarium at Ft. Fisher – provides opportunity for scientific and veterinary research aimed at sustaining and restoring native aquatic animals and plants and their habitats.
  • Bio-Accelerators – basic web lab incubators in New Hanover, Columbus and Robeson counties to spur start-up activity.
  • UNC Wilmington Center for Marine Science
    • Graduate programs include Masters in Science for Marine Science or Marine Biology, Ph.D. In Marine Biotechnology.
    • Post-Doctoral Program in Business of Biotechnology –offers fellows the chance to work on cutting-edge research in marine biotechnology while getting their MBA at UNCW's Cameron School of Business.
    • Clinical Research Program—prepares employees for work in clinical research at pharmaceutical companies and CRO's.
    • Technology Transfer Office – for commercialization of university research, specifically in marine biotechnology.
  • MARBIONC—international leaders in marine biotechnology research working to bring new products to commercial markets.
  • BioNetwork – a statewide initiative that connects community colleges across North Carolina, providing specialized training, curricula and equipment, to develop a world-class workforce for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.  


General Advantages

  • Workforce that is 10% more productive than the national average.
  • The lowest unionization rates in the country (1.9%).
  • 2 deep water ports in NC and within 200 miles of the highest volume ports on the east coast (Norfolk, VA and Charleston, SC).
  • Free customizable training programs through NC’s Community College system at any of our eight Community Colleges.
  • Foreign Trade Zone at the Port of Wilmington.
  • Highly competitive incentives and financial assistance.
  • Population growth at nearly twice the national average.
  • Quality of life that attracts and retains talent with a cost of living that is lower than the national average.