InnovateNC Grant to Strengthen Region’s Emerging Innovation Ecosystem in Marine and Life Sciences

Friday, September 04, 2015

A proposal put forth by the City of Wilmington in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Wilmington, New Hanover County, Marine Bio-Technologies Center of Innovation, the Town of Leland, Brunswick County, NC Biotech Center SE Office and Brunswick Community College, has been selected by North Carolina State’s Institute for Emerging Issues' economic development initiative InnovateNC.
InnovateNC is an intensive, two-year cross-city learning collaborative dedicated to fostering a creative innovative environment similar to Research Triangle Park. The City of Wilmington and the Carolina Coast will receive $250,000 to strengthen the region’s emerging innovation ecosystem in the marine and life sciences.  
"UNCW has many assets that we'll be able to leverage through this grant and we're very excited about the opportunities this funding will provide," said Ron Vetter, associate provost for research and dean of UNCW's graduate school. "UNCW's Marine Biotechnology program, faculty, students, research and other facilities can play a vital role in further developing Wilmington's entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are looking forward to strengthening our relationships with partners in Wilmington and the surrounding communities."
According to a release from Emerging Issues, submissions were evaluated on strength of current efforts, organizational capacity, local partners and the ability to participate in evaluation efforts.
The City of Wilmington and the Carolina Coast proposal was one of five selected from 18 from across the state. Asheville, Greensboro, Pembroke and Wilson were also selected to participate.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. A public institution with over 15,000 students, the university is widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff and a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship. With an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership, UNCW is continuously recognized at a national level for academic excellence and affordability. UNCW is dedicated to offering a community rich in diversity and inclusion, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, education, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts.
Institute for Emerging Issues:
NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) connects people and resources from all sectors and areas of North Carolina in an effort to ensure our state’s future economic competitiveness. For more information on IEI’s work, visit