Vol17 Iss1 2017

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — TRIANGLE NC | VOLUME 17 — ISSUE 1 18 RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK Research Triangle Park BY BRETT CORNWRIGHT The Research Triangle Park (RTP) has come along away from its humble beginnings. In fact, due to the presence of the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina is now world renowned as a hot bed of innovation in computer hard- ware and software as well as pharmaceuticals and bio- tech. Historically, the state's economy was driven by the tobacco and furniture industries, not silicon and bytes. However, those economic drivers started to evolve and shift in the mid-1960s with the birth of RTP. Often referred to as "Silicon Valley East," RTP was spearheaded by a committee of government, educa- tion, and business leaders as a center for research and innovation. By establishing a place where educators, researchers, and businesses collaborate as partners, the founders of the Park hoped to change the economic viability of the state, thereby increasing the opportuni- ties for the citizens of North Carolina. In 1960, RTP attracted its first company, Chemstrand, the inventor of AstroTurf. In 1965, IBM announced that it would locate a 400 acre, 600,00 square foot research facility in RTP. Also that year, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare decided to locate its new $70 million National Environmental Health Science Cen- ter here. With the location of a substantial government presence and a large private sector company, RTP gained credibility as a place for research and development. Over the years, companies and organizations head- quartered in RTP have won Nobel Prizes and the Pulitzer Prize as well as landed 3,256 patents and 1,970 trade- marks including Astroturf, Taxol for breast cancer, AZT the breakthrough drug for AIDS, and bar and UPC codes. With a central location among Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, today RTP contains 7,000 acres, more than 50,000 employees, and over 200 companies. RTP currently plays host to the second largest IBM operation in the world with 14,000 employees based here. RTP is also home to GlaxoSmithKline's largest R&D center with approximately 5,000 employees. Cisco Systems' campus in RTP, with approximately 5,000 employees, is the second highest concentration of its employees outside of its Silicon Valley corporate head- quarters. Also located in the park, RTI International is one of the world's leading research institutes. It works with governments, businesses, foundations, universi- ties, and other clients and partners across the globe to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. RTP is managed by the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, a non-profit organization founded in 1959. The Foundation is responsible for the overall manage- ment of the Park as well as ensuring that the regulations developed by the Park's founders to protect the natural environment and aesthetics of RTP are preserved. Under the development regulations governing the Park, a certain percentage of the total area is devoted to green space. In addition, companies in RTP must obey setbacks and land coverage regulations to maintain the natural environment of the Park and its surroundings. Recently, Bob Geolas, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation, announced exciting new plans for a $50 million redevelopment involving the formation of "Park Center." Park Center will include 300,000 square feet of public space in the heart of RTP. This public area will include retail outlets, food and beverage venues, and enter- tainment space. The redevelopment plans also include exploring part- nerships with regional transit groups. The goal of the Re- search Triangle Foundation is to broaden public transpor- tation to and from the area. According to Geolas: "We are currently having discussions about bringing the Regional Transit Center over to Park Center so that we can connect with all of our transit links." A public commuter rail is also being evaluated for viability. In other recent news, The Frontier, RTP's open innova- tion community, is expanding. After the success of its first 18 months, The Frontier is now offering additional oppor- tunities for start-up, small, and medium-sized companies to participate in the Park's revitalization. Since opening in January 2015, The Frontier has seen more than 100,000 visitors, and is the first completed project in RTP's Park Center development. [] the vision continues

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