Addressing challenges and opportunities in North Carolina’s robust life science sector is the focus of the state’s proposal just submitted under the federal “Build Back Better Regional Challenge” administered by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
The Tar Heel state was one of 60 finalists from across the country selected to submit Phase 2 proposals by the March 15 deadline. Tennessee had just one opportunity – a consortium led by the University of Memphis – out of nine Phase 1 ideas submitted. It is expected that 10 applications will be selected for up to $1 billion in funding.
In the case of the proposal from our neighbors to the east, it builds on an already robust sector while addressing both a real, immediate need and a systemic problem. The immediate need is to fill an additional 12,000 life science manufacturing jobs, and the way to do so is expanding the pipeline of qualified talent. That also addresses the systemic problem that Black and other groups are underrepresented in the life science workforce.
The proposal is titled “Accelerating Life Science Manufacturing to Create Economic Resilience and Promote Equity in Distressed North Carolina Communities,” and the Senior Vice President, Economic Development and Statewide Operations at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, discusses the opportunity in this blogpost republished by WRAL TechWire.