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by DANIEL MADRU, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Ci Design, Inc.

With a growth rate of 11.1%, North Carolina’s state capital Raleigh is projected to experience the second-fastest population growth in the country; its surrounding counties will experience a 30% growth rate within this decade,  according to Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner at Economic Leadership, LLC.

Ci Design opened an office in Downtown Raleigh in 2020 to support the region’s fast-growing and diverse industries. A core driver of this growth is the thriving Science & Technology (S&T) market in and around the Research Triangle. S&T companies and real estate developers continue to relocate or expand to the area due to the availability of space, business incentives, and lower cost of real estate compared to other S&T hubs in the country.

Read on to learn more about the growth of Science & Technology in North Carolina.

[For more Science & Technology articles, visit our blog.]



The Raleigh-Durham area is a growing hub for life sciences, research & experimental development (R&D), cGMP manufacturing, and technology companies. The state of North Carolina also has significant medical, clean energy and agricultural industry sectors within its local economy, creating enticing opportunities specifically for solar, semiconductors, and agricultural technology (agtech) companies to establish and grow within the area.

The influx of these companies comes with an increased need for supporting laboratory, industrial distribution, and warehouse facilities. Because of the specific requirements of S&T operations, these facilities often include specialty program components such as insectaries, robotics, building automation systems (BAS), cold storage, and sterilization areas. Many developers are also proposing speculative facilities in the area that include cGMP-ready structures, lab and R&D spaces, and support spaces such as offices, amenities, energy storage, and greenhouses.



North Carolina is strategically located near other major markets like Washington, DC and Atlanta. It is also home to two international airports (CLT and RDU) that provide easy access to major cities around the world. Compared to other metropolitan areas, traveling to, from, and around the state is easy with relatively low traffic and good roadways.

Because of the ease of access, availability of space, wealth of natural resources, and opportunities for establishing new clean energy infrastructure, the development in North Carolina is multi-directional and widespread; companies are venturing beyond the Research Triangle and building on sites throughout the state.



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

With the continued growth of the Science & Technology industry, talent retention and recruiting are in high demand for all workforce sectors. The state historically offers a strong higher education population due to its many nationally ranked private and public universities—including three tier 1 research institutions—and community colleges.

The programs and research at these institutions either incubate innovative entrepreneur startups or cultivate an impressive talent pool from which domestic and international companies competitively seek to hire.



North Carolina is uniquely positioned to continue its Science & Technology growth going forward, especially as emerging technologies mature. As the state continues to diversify its ecosystem to support the stream of S&T companies relocating to the area, its investment in talent development and training will help attract further innovation in the region for generations to come.


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