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Posted on Sep 10, 2013

Reaping What We Have Sown

Reaping What We Have Sown

Chancellor Randy Woodson and SAS founder Jim Goodnight were among participants in the Transforming Economies symposium at NC State earlier this year.

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Research is an exciting endeavor in itself, but through hard work and partnership, at NC State we often experience the thrill of applying our discoveries in the real world. There are so many great examples of NC State’s research impacts, it was difficult to decide which stories to feature in this issue.

We are leading global efforts to modernize the national power grid and bring clean energy sources into the mix, sparking economic growth here in North Carolina. A startup based on technology developed at NC State has introduced packaged food products with improved nutrition and taste to the marketplace — creating good jobs in the process. A Centennial Campus partner is seizing the opportunity to launch new products with help from our research community. We are excited to share these results and other breakthrough solutions that improve North Carolina’s economy, environment, and the well-being of its people.

And what a fruitful fall season is ahead.

The 2013 Raleigh Innovation Summit is an example of how NC State is driving development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region and state. The university and city again are hosting the summit, along with partners from academia, industry, government, and community organizations.

Since the first summit in 2012, innovation has been at the forefront of discussions and actions.

  • Direct flights now run between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and San Francisco, encouraging synergies with — and attracting venture capital from — Silicon Valley.
  • Entrepreneurs have more spaces to nurture startups, including HQ Raleigh and its ThinkHouse, American Underground @Raleigh, and NC State’s Incubator 2.0.
  • Triangulate is a new online tool to connect entrepreneurs with resources and one another. The site,, reflects the enormous activity all across the region.
  • NC State’s innovation symposium, Transforming Economies, drew national academic and industry experts who cited our cutting-edge partnerships as a model for their own growth.

Discussions at this year’s Raleigh Innovation Summit will focus on what is needed for the region to be recognized as a “top five” center for innovation and entrepreneurship. Who knows what big idea today will be a reality in 2014?

Innovate Raleigh continues as the umbrella organization for many public/private/academic activities. Along with NC State and the City of Raleigh, partners are Raleigh Economic Development, Wake County Economic Development, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, Wake Technical Community College, the Wake County Public School System and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

Here at NC State, we have brought various offices and programs to the building now known as the Poulton Innovation Center, named for Bruce Poulton, whose tenure as chancellor included Centennial Campus’ early days. The center’s second floor is home to the Springboard Innovation Hub, which includes the Concierge, Centennial Campus Partnership Office, Industry Alliances, Office of Technology Transfer, Research Development Office, Venture Development, and the Small Business Technology and Development Center.

Audacious may have been the description of early Centennial Campus visions shared by Poulton and others. Their dreams of public/private partnerships have come true. Now we are shaping new visions for a future focused on innovation.

I am often at Springboard, working with university, industry, and community partners. Stop by to share your big idea. In the meantime, join the conversation on Twitter at #InnovateRal and with @NCStateResearch.

  • Vice Chancellor
  • Research, Innovation and Economic Development