RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – RTI International is the latest is a growing list of tenants for the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

RTI confirmed this week that it has opened offices in downtown Kannapolis and is waiting for space to be finished on the $1-billion plus complex being built by billionaire David Murdock.

Universities across the state are being drawn to what Murdock has touted as a “biopolis.” Several private sector firms are moving in as well.

RTI disclosed its presence in an interview this week with the Independent Tribune newspaper in Kannapolis. The RTI contingent will offer support to university labs conducting research, according to Alan Staple, vice president of health sciences for RTI.
“We’re working with Duke, UNC and N.C. State on lab layout, equipment and IT services,” Staple told the newspaper, “and working with them on their requirements.”

Billionaire David Murdock will be back in Kannapolis on Monday to present what is being described as a record gift to Duke University. That announcement, which also will include Duke spelling out its commitment to Murdock’s project, is another significant step in making the Research Campus a reality.

With the state’s major universities getting involved alongside private sector firms such as Red Hat and emerging biotech firms, the Research Campus is rapidly evolving into a hub that someday could become one of the nation’s premier biotech centers.

While Murdock’s project may never equal the Triangle, it certainly is helping spread the state’s biotech sector to an area where economic growth is desperately needed.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, the opening of the Golden LEAF biotech education and training facility on Wednesday is designed to meet the need for trained biotech workers.

The biotech/life science sector is growing increasingly important to the state’s economy. And it’s very encouraging to see private and public sector leaders committing resources to help North Carolina leverage one of its crown jewels.