New Opportunities

Programs opening opportunities for biotech companies and workers:

Watch the Biotech Center's Bill Bullock describe how he helped to bring Novartis home to North Carolina.

Intellectual Capital Attracts International Business

Shannon Manning is one of approximately 30 North Carolina State University alumni working at Novartis' ground-breaking flu vaccine plant in Holly Springs.

Manning is one example of how the state's support for biotechnology creates a spiral of success for North Carolina:

  • Respected education and workforce development programs keep the state's best and brightest minds working close to home, and
  • Large companies are attracted to the ready pool of highly educated workers.

Second Chances Keep Talent in North Carolina

Manning's road to success was not a traditional straight path. His first college experience at NC State ended with him leaving without a degree. Manning wound up working long hours managing a couple of area restaurants for a major national chain. Not much science, but a eureka experience nonetheless.

"I realized the quality of life was horrible shortly after I got married," he reflected, "so I decided the only way out was to finish school."

Manning returned to NC State, this time with renewed focus and the support of Dr. Robert Kelly's BIT biotechnology program. (BIT was a forerunner to today's Biomanufacturing, Training, & Education Center (BTEC) – the largest hands-on biomanufacturing training facility in the world).

Upon graduating in 2007, Manning joined more than two dozen of his NC State alumni at Novartis, as a production engineer in the automation engineering department.

"This talented group of students has established a world-wide reputation at Novartis," says Marcelo Anderson, BTEC's Industry and Student Life Changer. "They're taking on big responsibilities – and delivering, despite being literally right out of the gate."

A Ready Workforce Brings $1 Billion Facility

With its decision to open its flu manufacturing plant in Holly Springs, Novartis brought a $1 billion investment and a total of 680 jobs to North Carolina.

"If you put the investment that North Carolina has into the infrastructure – I don't just mean roads and water – I mean education and training, it's an upward spiral. It generates initial interest and attracts companies from around the world," says Bill Bullock, Vice President of Bioscience Industrial Development at the NC Center for Biotechnology.

And the future for biotech business looks even brighter. With the investments that the state has made in biotechnology, Bullock says he can confidently walk into any biomanufacturer and show them how North Carolina is better poised to support their work than any place else on the planet.