CHARLOTTE – There’s a lot of interesting stuff taking place in the late-session appointments bill the Senate rolled out Tuesday to fill positions created recently. It’s time to address another set: The NCInnovation board.
Quick refresher: NCInnovation Inc. is the nonprofit that’s been set up to bolster the commercialization of faculty research at public universities, specifically the ones that aren’t UNC Chapel Hill and N.C. State.
The budget for the fiscal 2023-25 biennium will provide it $500 million, money that’s supposed to become an endowment for its future efforts. But it comes with strings attached, none bigger than a demand that legislators control appointments to a majority of the nonprofit’s 13 member board.
The appointments bill, Senate Bill 761, puts that into operation.
My colleagues at Business North Carolina have already pointed out that one of the selections is former legislator and longtime mover-and-shaker Art Pope, about which more in a minute. But we should take stock of the other picks too.