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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?

  1. They are an investment in North Carolina’s future.
  2. Will move innovative technologies from the universities into the marketplace by understanding the industrial “pull” that will transform ideas into products.
  3. Potential to attract and create new companies as well as fostering business partnerships for existing NC businesses.
  4. 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 NC 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 state-wide 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 go to COI Award.