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Posted on Mar 13, 2013

Welcome to our Innovation Neighborhood

Welcome to our Innovation Neighborhood

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It is an exciting time at NC State as our Innovation Neighborhood grows on Centennial Campus. The unique clustering of people, programs and partners encourages creative collisions with beneficial results.

By now, I expect you have heard about the remarkable, new James B. Hunt, Jr. Library, cited as the most innovative library in the world and home to the Institute for Emerging Issues. Check out our cover story to learn more about technologies seamlessly woven into the fabric of the new library that are changing the way we collaborate, teach and learn at NC State.

We also have new synergy in the Springboard Innovation Hub, another step in efforts to make it easier to do business with NC State. The proximity of various programs, along with collaboration space, enables us to offer a “one-stop-shop” for corporate, governmental and non-profit entities who want to partner with NC State. Springboard includes the offices of Technology Transfer (including New Venture Services); Centennial Campus Partnerships; Economic Development Partnerships; Small Business Technology Development Center; Corporate and Foundation Relations; Center for Innovation Management Studies; Accelerated Commercialization of Technology; Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network; and Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Partners — such as the Eastman Chemical Company and its new Eastman Innovation Center — also have found robust landing space during the transition to permanent spots on Centennial. Learn more about Springboard by calling our concierge at (919) 515-7036 or by exploring the portal at for program details and listings of events focusing on entrepreneurship.

Startups based on ideas from NC State faculty, staff and students may be nestled in the Technology Incubator, or scattered among veteran Centennial partners. For inspiration, read about the NC State researchers who started Agile Sciences on page 10, and our new class of the NC State Fast 15 on page 19.

The core of our university research park includes the Colleges of Engineering, Textiles and Veterinary Medicine, along with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, and two National Science Foundation-funded engineering research centers.

We are moving into a new 24/7 mode for Centennial Campus through construction of a 1,200-bed dormitory:
our living/learning entrepreneurs village that will include The Garage, where students test out ideas for new products and companies. Along with the library and non-student housing, we will have a vibrant, 24-hour culture that will draw restaurants and other businesses, to achieve our “town-center” vision.

While we are excited about our present and future, the Innovation Timeline that runs along the bottom of many pages in this issue showcases how NC State has focused on transforming research results into products and policies for its entire 125 years. It is just a sampling of highlights from across decades and disciplines, part of our anniversary celebration that has included numerous events and wonderful displays at the Raleigh Convention Center.

As I write, we are putting finishing touches on a capstone to our 125th anniversary celebration: NC State’s innovation symposium, Transforming Economies: the Role of University Innovation in Economic Growth. The gathering will showcase how NC State is actively responding to local needs and addressing industry challenges to help create jobs across North Carolina.

By converging hundreds of state and national leaders from industry, government and academia, we will discover new approaches for bringing economic prosperity to our communities. Exciting examples of companies leveraging and partnering with university innovators will encourage others to grow their businesses, thus transforming the future. That is what NC State is all about.

Vice Chancellor for Research,
Innovation and Economic Development