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Interdisciplinary Initiatives

The Office of Research and Innovation is dedicated to developing and nurturing impactful interdisciplinary initiatives. We support these strategic interdisciplinary research efforts by:

  • Cultivating emerging teams with common research interests
  • Providing seed funding for pilot research projects
  • Supporting interdisciplinary academic programs


The regional hub, “Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors,” or CLAWS, brings together the leading regional experts in wide bandgap semiconductors to develop an increase in domestic production and employment. This initiative is part of $238 million invested through the “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act” for the establishment of eight Microelectronics Commons regional innovation hubs spread across the United States.

Galapagos Science Center

The Galapagos Science Center (GSC) is a hub for scientific research projects to benefit the Galapagos and the world of science. It is the first and only academic research center on the Galapagos archipelago. In response to opportunities offered by the GSC, a working group of NC State faculty interested in Galapagos research, sustainability, training and education formed to pursue projects of interest on the Islands.

NC Viral Vector Initiative in Research and Learning (NC-VVIRAL)

Viral vectors are fundamental tools for the delivery of gene therapies targeting a variety of rare and common clinical syndromes, cancer, and infectious diseases. North Carolina is a national leader in the development of new gene therapies and clinical testing, as well as viral vector innovation and manufacturing. Indeed, many small- and large-scale companies in the region develop and produce viral vectors for a variety of clinical and biotechnology applications. To stimulate research and development efforts focused on innovations in the process manufacturing of viral vectors, NC State created a new laboratory that will provide support for an inter-institutional initiative (NC-VVIRAL) to drive discovery, improve efficacy and reduce the cost of gene therapy products.

Interdisciplinary Data Science

Understanding, managing and using data — often large amounts of unstructured data — is becoming increasingly important in nearly every industry, government sector and academic domain. Not having the skills and infrastructure to reliably apply data science has become a major risk in and of itself. The UNC System has recognized North Carolina’s capacity to provide national leadership in this important sector, and NC State is uniquely positioned to address these challenges and lead data science efforts on a national stage.

The Office of Research and Innovation’s Interdisciplinary Data Science efforts work to expand our research, teaching and outreach efforts to create a nationally recognized hub of excellence in data science and analytics. We will achieve these goals by better integrating our existing capabilities, improving data science education in both methods and applications, enhancing human and physical resources on a local, regional and national scale, and facilitating internal and external partnerships to further innovate and collaborate with current and future partners.

Laboratory for Analytic Sciences

The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS) is a collaboration hub for practitioners from academia, industry, and the intelligence community that was founded in 2013 as a partnership between the National Security Agency and NC State University. LAS supports the intelligence community by transitioning research and innovation to help analysts solve their most pressing challenges related to national security and technology, leading to better solutions for real-world problems. More than 90 percent of the work that LAS supports is unclassified, which means that it can draw from diverse talent and share discoveries widely. Much of the research has broad application, helping not just the intelligence community, but a variety of industries and institutions.

National Laboratory Initiative

NC State actively collaborates with many national laboratories for scientific research and development. We have formal agreements in place with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Savannah River National Laboratory. We help facilitate engagements between NC State and the national laboratories, including joint faculty and staff, internships, postdoctoral fellowships, workshops, seminar series, and capstone projects.

National Security Initiatives

NC State has worked to improve our nation’s defense and security throughout its history. We lead defense consortia and enable rapid innovation by applying cutting-edge research to mission-relevant problems. We are a top workforce provider, through both classroom and hands-on experiential education to mission-relevant problems. We also provide critical education and training to military personnel to further their careers, or as they transition to the private sector.

Quantum Computing

NC State is making a strategic commitment in the area of quantum computing. Quantum computing has the potential to solve a number of societal grand challenges — such as complex optimization, molecular modeling, chemical simulations, and data discovery — that cannot be solved with conventional computers. The IBM Q Hub at NC State provides faculty, industry partners and students access to state-of-the-art quantum infrastructure. We are developing both academic programs and business applications and training on the forefront of this emerging technology.

Neurosciences at NC State

Neuroscience research and education at NC State is rapidly growing. We believe that fundamental scientific insights occur when scientists are allowed to work in a flexible, collaborative and intellectually adventurous atmosphere that allows for convergence and integration across multiple disciplines. Our goal is to prepare our graduate students to be world-class scientists and leaders — unafraid of tackling the most significant scientific challenge of our era: integrating across the genetic, molecular, cellular, physiological and organismal levels to understand how the nervous system enables and changes function and behavior.