DURHAM, N.C. — The Golden LEAF Foundation is pouring another $2.3 million into the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise Center for Excellence at North Carolina Central University.

The new grant increases the Golden LEAF contribution to $21.6 million for the project, which is known as BRITE. NCCU said the additional funding was needed to construct the facility.

The purpose of BRITE is to help North Carolina train and deploy a workforce for the state’s growing biotechnology industry.

“Without the foundation’s support, we would have had to make drastic changes that would have significantly impacted our program offerings,” said James Ammons, NCCU’s chancellor. “Now we can begin the construction phase of this project.”

NCCU wants to open BRITE in January of 2008, Ammons said.

Golden LEAF provided $19.1 million in 2003 for BRITE. Increased construction costs led to the request for additional funding, NCCU said in a statement.

NCCU offers undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry and physics with a concentration in pharmaceutical science. Some 35 students are enrolled this fall. Through BRITE, NCCU wants to eventually added graduate programs.

Golden LEAF: www.goldenleaf.org