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What are Centers of Innovation?
Why are they important?
What will they do?
I have an idea for a COI. Now what?

What are Centers of Innovation?

Virtual “innovation” hubs across North Carolina that will focus on a specific industry sector to:

  • Accelerate technology commercialization
  • Develop alliances between academic and industry partners that will build off of regional research strengths and capacity statewide
  • Complement and collaborate with the existing commercialization infrastructure

With a focus on enhancing commercialization opportunities within their industry sector, COI efforts will lead to stabilization and growth of these nascent sectors for the state leading to:

  • Biotech jobs
  • Wealth generation

Why are Centers of Innovation important?

  • They are an investment in North Carolina’s future
  • Will move innovative technologies from the universities into the marketplace by understanding the industrial “pull” that will transform ideas into products
  • Potential to attract and create new companies as well as fostering business partnerships for existing N.C. businesses
  • Allow for new opportunities and funding options to be pursued, potentially leading to increases in federal and corporate-sponsored funding

What will these Centers of Innovation do?

Specifically, the COI will:

  • Develop strategic public-private partnership and alliances across the state
  • Use the state’s natural and institutional resources to strengthen commercially viable biotechnology-dependent sectors
  • Create a commercialization pipeline using universities to stimulate new private-sector partnerships and companies
  • Recruit new sources of funding to achieve financial sustainability
  • Provide guidance to appropriate leaders, agencies and partners

If I have an idea for a Center of Innovation, what is the process?

  1. Contact Mary Beth Thomas to discuss your idea.
  2. Potential COIs will need to form a cohesive academic-industry consortium led by strong inter-university and industrial partners. 
  3. These partners recognize a unique set of strengths that N.C. has to offer in a specific industry sector that can be catalyzed by focused and collaborative efforts.  
  4. Once a consortium has formed, it must be recognized by the Biotechnology Center as an inclusive and cohesive consortium that is intent on building a statewide initiative. Only then will the Center invite the consortium to submit a Phase I proposal.  

Ongoing engagement of NCBiotech staff is required.

For additional information on the application process, please see COI Award.