Accelerate NC - Life Sciences Manufacturing
Coalition Lead Applicant: North Carolina Biotechnology Center
Region (applicant-defined): North Carolina
Phase 2 Federal Award: Approximately $25 million
The Accelerate NC – Life Sciences Manufacturing coalition, led by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, will receive approximately $25 million to strengthen its life sciences manufacturing cluster by investing in a more robust pipeline of biotech talent across the state and expanding those opportunities to underserved and historically excluded communities. The biomanufacturing industry in North Carolina is at a critical point: businesses have announced over 7,000 jobs and $7 billion of investment in the region since 2020; however, existing workforce programs are inadequate to meet demand. While many of these jobs are accessible to those without advanced degrees, some communities are left out of existing opportunities or training programs. EDA funding will dramatically increase the capacity of the state’s education system to prepare current residents for these high-quality, well-paying jobs. The NC-BioBetter project will expand entry-level biotechnology training programs at 10 community colleges across the state. North Carolina Central University will lead a network of the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and one Historically American Indian University to establish 6 training hubs targeted at these underserved populations. The coalition and its private sector partners will create ambassador and mentorship programs to break down barriers to careers in the industry and set an example for prioritizing equity alongside economic growth.