Why do so many life sciences companies call North Carolina home?

North Carolina accelerates success in the life sciences. Top talent, infrastructure and a business-friendly climate are among the reasons why companies are choosing the Tar Heel state. 

Our talent pool of 75,000 highly skilled workers are employed by our 830 life sciences companies. An additional 2,500 companies support the life sciences sector.

Our top-tier research universities, training and scientific infrastructure, and low cost of doing business, make North Carolina the right place for growing companies.

Strong, diverse life sciences cluster

  • Core strengths in pharma and biopharma manufacturing, gene and cell therapy, contract research, and agricultural technology

  • Ranked the nation’s fourth leading hub for biotechnology activity per Fierce Biotech

  • Named the 2022 State of the Year per Business Facilities 

  • Named the 2023 Top State for Business per CNBC

Training Infrastructure

colleges
58

community colleges

diploma
25,567

life sciences degrees conferred 2016-2022

UNC system campuses
16

UNC campuses

private colleges
40

private colleges

Scientific Infrastructure

medical schools
5

medical schools

4 pharmacy schools
4

pharmacy schools

3 cancer centers
3

comprehensive cancer centers

land grant universities
2

land grant universities

vet school
1

veterinary school

International Connections

 international companies
96

international companies

international companies
23

countries

airports
2

international airports

100 million people in a 500-mile radius
100 million

people in a 500-mile radius

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Life Sciences Industry News

Millions of consumers know Bayer as the aspirin company. Some even know it’s the Alka-Seltzer company. Investors know it as the German pharmaceutical, life sciences and agricultural giant that bought Monsanto in 2018.

Now Bayer is buying a bigger bite of plant technology developed by Pairwise, a North Carolina gene-based ag tech company, to expand its reach into the grocery food chain.

The Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein has launched at North Carolina State University.

The Bezos Earth Fund awarded NC State $30 million over five years to lead a center of excellence to create a biomanufacturing hub for dietary proteins that are environmentally friendly, healthy, tasty and affordable. The Earth Fund has committed $100 million to establish a network of open-access research and development centers focused on sustainable protein alternatives, expanding consumer choices.

The 5th BioAgTech World Congress, produced in partnership with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (NC PSI) at North Carolina State University, and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, made its Raleigh, NC, debut at the Raleigh Convention Center in late April. 

Over a year’s worth of recruitment and planning efforts went into North Carolina being named as the North American destination in the event’s global rotation. 

TEConomy Small Cover

2022 TEConomy Report


The "2022 Evidence and Opportunity: Impact of Life Sciences in North Carolina" report from TEConomy Partners analyzes the impact and transformation of life sciences in North Carolina.

North Carolina infrastructure map

North Carolina's infrastructure supports life sciences companies all across the state. Some of our major advantages include:

  • An ideal mid-Atlantic location
  • Four international airports, including Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte Douglas airports
  • Daily freight and passenger trains with 3,200 miles of railroad
  • Two coastal ports, including 3 million cubic feet of cold storage space
  • 90,000+ miles of highway connecting NC to all corners of the U.S.

North Carolina's Life Sciences Leaders

alcami
basf
baxter
bd
biogen
cook medical
fujifilm diosynth
grifols
iqvia
labcorp
Merck
novartis
novo nordisk
novozymes
Pfizer
PPD
CSL Seqirus
Stiefel
syneos health
syngenta
Thermo Fisher Scientific
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