UNC-TV Show Highlights Ag, Marine Biotech

Opportunities in marine biotechnology, biofuels, and agricultural biotechnology are among the hopeful targets of North Carolina Public Television special.

The hour-long program aired Sept. 2 on UNC-TV.

"What we're talking about is new opportunities we may not have even imagined yet," said Randall Johnson, director of the Biotechnology Center's Southeastern Office.

"We're not trying to create industries out of nothing. We're looking at the assets we actually have -- the marine natural resources -- looking at how we can build on those assets with new industries and jobs right here."

The broadcast, "NC Rising," focuses on rural economic development opportunities across the state. Those interviewed include

  • Dan Baden, Steve Fontana, Jeff Wright and Wade Watanabe from UNC Wilmington's Center for Marine Science;
  • Justin Smith, director of the Columbus County Economic Development Commission;
  • Kim Jones, CEO and senior research scientist of the algae-based biofuels company Alganomics; and
  • many other leaders in the state's new economy.

It's the primetime premiere of what UNC-TV has compiled as 12 monthly North Carolina Now segments, available free as podcasts.

The overall series examines how local communities are reinventing themselves through innovative options such as tourism, small business, alternative crops, biotechnology and biomanufacturing, food processing, military contracts, and education.

These special reports yield an unprecedented and timely hour-long look at the scope and diversity of the state's rural economic development projects.

Tue, 09/01/2009 - 04:00