Real World Problem Solving Is NC State’s Strength
Much of the leading edge research, development and training that happens at NC State addresses real world challenges that confront industry. Working in concert with Development Offices in each of our ten colleges, NC State’s Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations helps companies determine how NC State can partner with them in ways that generate value for their customers and shareholders. Our office can also identify NC State entities that can help foundations and NGOs solve global problems and issues of particular concern to them.
Our Corporate & Foundation Relations Office personnel work hand-in-hand with NC State’s Research, Innovation and Economic Development enterprise, the university’s Springboard Portal, the Centennial Campus, the North Carolina Research Campus and the Office of Technology Transfer to translate research and educational projects into jobs, new technologies and a more educated workforce. Consistent with the land grant university mission, meaningful improvement in the lives of Research Triangle residents and North Carolina citizens results from the collective efforts of NC State’s entrepreneurial students, faculty and staff. At NC State, we recognize that many of those efforts would not be possible without the financial and in-kind support of corporations and foundations. Our faculty and institution attach great importance to the confidence that corporations and foundations place in our institution’s ability to render their research investments and gifts into useful technologies and know how.
Corporate Investment in NC State
During fiscal year 2008-2009, corporations invested more than $300 million in NC State University programs. Working in tandem with key corporate partners, NC State undertakes hundreds of promising research, educational and outreach opportunities annually. Teamwork with and financial support from those companies make it possible for NC State to serve as a genuine catalyst for innovation. For example, a $1.3 million gift in 2006 from the SAS Institute resulted in creation of the Institute for Advanced Analytics, a program offering the nation’s first graduate degree in management of large, complex datasets. Today, students emerging from that unique program are easily finding employment in all business functions. The performance of those graduates is remarkable and, yes, some work at SAS.
Another example of corporate partnership at NC State is the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center where the membership fees of its 49 corporate members support development of the “smart grid” and innovations like Dr. Alex Huang’s solid state transformer. The solid state transformer was recently singled out by Technology Review as one of ten emerging technologies that will have the most impact in the coming decade. A third example of NC State’s involvement in public-private partnership is manifested in sponsored research. In their pursuit of more productive crops that increase food, fiber and fuel production in a sustainable fashion, biotechnology firms rely upon the expertise of NC State scientists to evaluate new crop traits in regulated field trials. Crops improved via biotechnology are just one of many examples wherein NC State research sponsored by private sector firms plays a critical role in commercialization of new technologies and business concepts that touch consumers on a daily basis. Again, NC State’s Corporate & Foundation Relations Office stands ready to help private sector firms navigate our campus and identify how their investment in NC State’s research, teaching and training enterprises can enable them to engage their customers more effectively, help their employees develop new skills and attain their business goals.
Philanthropic Gifts and NC State
NC State enjoys productive relationships with many philanthropic foundations and NGOs. Gifts from foundations, NGOs and corporate entities support many NC State facilities, research initiatives, graduate studies, educational venues and community development projects dedicated to improving the lives of people around the world. Building consensus, fostering collaboration and developing human capital are NC State strengths. A representative example of philanthropy in action at NC State is a $1.3 million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant awarded to NC State and Wake Technical Community College in 2011. Partnering with Wake Tech and in concert with an extraordinary team of over 30 local, community-based organizations and educational institutions that include Meredith College, Peace College, Shaw University, St. Augustine’s College and the Wake County Public Schools, NC State and the assembled team set course to demonstrate how a united community can double the number of young adults from low income households who achieve post-secondary success and transition productively into the workforce.
Another example of philanthropy in action at NC State is our university’s efforts to motivate and inspire the next generation of biomedical researchers. Sponsored by a $1 million gift from The Jimmy V. Foundation, NC State developed and administers The Jimmy V.-North Carolina State University Cancer Therapeutics Training Program. This unique program provides promising, high school level scientists with hands on research experience in four NC State laboratories. Its goal is to encourage the best young minds to pursue careers in cancer research.
Opportunities for gifts and philanthropic investment in NC State’s ability to lead projects and produce results are plentiful and NC State always welcomes the opportunity to advance the common good. NC State’s Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations Office stands ready to translate foundation gifts into actions that address donor interests and foundation priorities.