Regional Initiatives

North Carolina Research Campus

The North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) has created excitement and interest from the entire Charlotte Region about future careers in biotechnology. The NCRC is a joint venture between Dole Foods, the University of North Carolina System, Duke University and the North Carolina Community College System that will be built over the next five to seven years on the former Pillowtex Plant 1 site in downtown Kannapolis. Projected to cost $1 billion and covering over 350 acres, the project is being funded partially by an investment from David H. Murdock, owner of Dole Foods and Castle & Cooke, Inc.

The NCRC will include the UNC at Chapel Hill's Nutrition Institute, a Dole-NC State University Institute for Advanced Fruit and Vegetable Science, a Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) facility, and a science and mathematics school for girls supported by UNC-Charlotte. The development plans also include residential, office, and retail components. Within the NCRC complex will be an $80 million, 311,000 square-foot Core Laboratory with a state-of-the-art contract manufacturing biogenic facility. This facility will be available for use by companies to be physically located on the NCRC. Mr. Murdock has established a venture capital fund of $100 million to help attract biotech start-up firms to the NCRC.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board has been and will continue to be an active partner with local workforce and economic development agencies in the growth of the NC Research Campus. The Board works with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the Cabarrus and Rowan County NCWorks Career Centers in establishing R3 Career Services (Refocus, Retrain, Re-employ). R3 implements intensive career coaching for individuals interested in the growing employment options in the region, including biotechnology

The North Carolina Research Campus Mission

The purpose of the North Carolina Research Campus is to create knowledge, jobs, and progress. These are the goals outlined in the campus’ success:

  • Improve human health through research in nutrition and agriculture
  • Create jobs through development of the campus
  • Bring therapies and products to the public more quickly to improve health and nutrition, and create more jobs
Supporters of the NC Research Campus

“This Research Campus and its scientific developments will help our citizens live better, healthier lives” - Elizabeth Dole, US Senator (R-NC)

"It has to fill you with great excitement and great hope for the future” - Erskine Bowles, President of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system.

“We’re going to open the most sophisticated biotechnology core lab in the world” - John Cox, President of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to put North Carolinians to work in 21st century jobs and to keep our state at the forefront of a vibrant industry” - Dr. Martin Lancaster, President of the NC Community College System.

“The entire community has viewed the research campus as a bright spot” - Bob Misenheimer, Mayor of Kannapolis.

“The most exciting part of this project is to be able to create sustainable, better-paying jobs for the people of Kannapolis and the region. And the creation of this scientific community centered on biotechnology will allow a transformation of this economy from a manufacturing-based one to one centered on scientific knowledge and research” - David Murdock, Owner of Castle and Cooke, Inc.

Contact Information

North Carolina Research Campus
Phone: (704) 273-1234

Castle & Cooke North Carolina
210 Oak Ave.
Kannapolis, NC 28081
(704) 938-5400

City of Kannapolis
246 Oak Ave.
Kannapolis, NC 28081
(704) 920-4311

Cabarrus Regional Economic Development
3003 Dale Earnhardt Blvd.
Kannapolis, NC, USA 28083
Phone: (704) 782-4000
Fax: (704) 782-4050

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College R3 Center
200 West Ave.
Kannapolis, NC 28081
(704) 216-7201


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