Research Triangle Park

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Background information

Located at the geographic centre of three Tier-1 research universities, RTP is the largest research park in the United States and a global innovation centre. Its 7,000 acres house hundreds of companies, including science and technology firms, government agencies, academic institutions, startups and nonprofits.

It was established by the Research Triangle Foundation in 1959, to meet the challenge of reviving North Carolina’s declining regional economy that was dependent on tobacco, textiles and furniture manufacturing. Its core mission since then has been to facilitate collaboration between the Triangle universities, promote cooperation between universities and industry, and to create an economic impact for residents of North Carolina.

Today, the region ranks among the top three states in bioscience employment and has become a world leader in vaccine research and manufacturing. It is home to an $86 billion a year agricultural biotech industry that will play a major role in feeding a world population expected to reach nine billion by 2050. The park itself is a community of over 60,000 employees and more than 300 companies, complete with on-site recreational and residential facilities.

Companies and universities perform $6 billion in combined annual research expenditures (includes Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University, RTI International, the US EPA, and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences). It is also home to is home to NC Biotech Center and the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, the USA’s first state-funded non-profits that promoted small firm success in life sciences and microelectronics.

The RTP includes the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies Inc. (TUCASI). Established in 1975 and intended to serve the three Founding Universities (Duke University, NC State University, and UNC-Chapel Hill) within the park. Its campus brings together private, public and not for profit research organisations specialising in medical sciences, electronics, networking technologies and biotech, as well as the National Humanities Center. 

As well as close links with universities, the RTP also has close ties with the local community, for example by providing grants to programs that engage North Carolinians historically under-served in STEM education, including women and girls, ethnic minorities and those from low-income backgrounds.  

RTP Badge Square
  1. Name
    Research Triangle Park
  2. Location
    Research Triangle Park, United States
  1. Website
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  3. Main technology sectors
  4. Type
    Science Park
  5. Member category