Uptown Greenville, NC


Pitt County Receives $42K NC Biotech Grant

Greenville, NC (February 28, 2012) - The Pitt County Development Commission has received a $42,000 Regional Development Grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to launch a study of the best ways Eastern North Carolina can tap into the economic benefits of biotechnology.

Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, headquartered in Princeton, NJ, will perform the biotechnology competitive positioning analysis.  Led by Andy Shapiro, the firm’s location economics advisor, the study will determine the most promising biotechnology sectors for which Pitt County and North Carolina’s Eastern Region are best positioned to compete for economic development projects.

Biotechnology is a major target industry for North Carolina as well as North Carolina’s Eastern Region.  With the study’s findings, Pitt County can better utilize marketing dollars to position itself and the Region in targeted biotechnology sectors.  “By narrowing the scope based on a comprehensive analysis of our assets and a comparative review of competing markets, we can maximize our efforts and develop a more structured, effective marketing and recruitment plan,” says Kelly Andrews, the Commission’s associate director.

East Carolina University’s Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development conducted a biotechnology asset inventory last summer that will aid in the pending study.  The inventory documented all of the biotechnology-related curriculum, research and programs at the university and will be analyzed along with other assets and data.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business and education statewide. North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing of the top biotech clusters – 29.1 percent from 2001 to 2008. The collective impact of this growth and activity is $64.6 billion annually on the state’s economy.

The Pitt County Development Commission submitted the application in November and was endorsed by economic developers in neighboring counties, Pitt Community College, East Carolina University, Vidant Health and North Carolina’s Eastern Region.  “We wish to thank the North Carolina Biotechnology Center for the grant and hope the findings will serve to enhance our Region and North Carolina’s position as a top state for biotechnology,” says Andrews.  The study will begin in mid-March and will conclude this summer.