Tuesday, August 27, 2013

News from the NC Biotech Center

The following can be attributed to Norris Tolson, President and CEO, North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The Biotechnology Center’s leadership has reviewed programs and staffing as a result of the cut in our state appropriation from $17.2 million to $12.6 million. The 27 percent cut to our budget requires deep cuts and difficult decisions. As of Sept. 1, the Center is:

  • Ending the Education and Training Program, which includes three grant programs, Education Enhancement Grants, Undergraduate Research Fellowships and Summer Workshops for Educators.
  • Cutting research grants programs by closing the Multidisciplinary Research Grants and trimming the Institutional Development Grants, Biotechnology Research Grants and Collaborative Funding Grants.
  • Trimming community and economic development programs by ending the Regional Development Grants and reducing the Biotechnology Meeting Grants, Presidential Initiative Awards and Economic Development Awards.
  • In our business development programs, ending the Industrial Fellowship Program and reducing the Small Business Research Loans.

 The Center will honor all awards already made in these programs.

As part of the cuts, we are reducing our staff through a mixture of layoffs, voluntary separations and unfilled positions. Today we laid off seven staff members across our programs, support services and regional offices. This brings the Center staff to 69, down from a current staff of 76.

We anticipate another reduction in staff, because of the voluntary separation program announced last month, by September 30.

It is difficult to shutter programs that are significant to our life science community. Each of these programs had outstanding success metrics, leveraging additional investment and jobs.However, with limited resources, and with the legislature’s direction in the budget resolution, changes must be made.

North Carolina is still one of the best places in the world to create high-paying life science jobs. We’ve made significant investments over many years in research, education and technology development, which provides us with many competitive advantages. Going forward, we at the Biotech Center will redouble our efforts to continue creating these great jobs for all North Carolinians.

Media Contact:Robin Deacle
Vice President, Corporate Communications
North Carolina Biotechnology Center

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