"BTEC" - Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing
Training and Education Center - 850 Oval Drive
View from East
Location: Centennial Campus
Sq. Footage 82,481
Sept. 19, 2007
The Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus is officially open for business, giving the state a new tool for supporting a growing biotechnology industry. Gov. Michael Easley, UNC System President Erskine Bowles, NC State Chancellor James Oblinger and Martin Lancaster, president of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), led a ceremony dedicating the center.
BTEC is the largest facility of its kind in the nation. Through partnerships between NC State, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and NCCCS, BTEC's distance education and on-site programs will train as many as 2,000 students and prospective employees per year.
BTEC will simulate a biomanufacturing pilot plant facility capable of producing biopharmaceutical products and packaging them in a sterile environment. It also will include training and education classrooms, laboratories, building and process utilities. The facility is outfitted so that students will gain hands-on experience using the same large-scale equipment they would use on the job.
Golden LEAF provided about $38 million to design, build and equip BTEC, as part of an overall initiative grant of about $68 million. In addition to BTEC, the initiative establishes biomanufacturing training capabilities statewide at NCCU and five regional skill centers in the NCCCS, which will also operate the BioNetwork Capstone Center within BTEC.
"NC State has a history of being responsive to North Carolina's needs," Oblinger said. "BTEC is a perfect example. With the growth of the biotechnology sector in North Carolina, the state needs a larger pool of potential biotech employees. This type of education and training exists nowhere else in the country at this scale and should serve as a magnet for new business expansions and relocations in this critical sector for our state's economy.
"The center will be a major new force for statewide economic development and job creation in the biomanufacturing, pharmaceutical and related agricultural industries. Through partnerships with industry, the community colleges, North Carolina Central and with support from Golden LEAF, we've created a tremendous opportunity for North Carolina to lead the world in biomanufacturing."
"Golden LEAF's investment at NC State represents one component of a major initiative started five years ago with industry to build a world-class training collaborative between NC State, NC Central and the NC Community College System" said Valeria Lee, President of Golden LEAF. "This demand-driven approach to workforce development is in response to the life sciences industry's need for qualified workers necessary to grow jobs throughout North Carolina."
While North Carolina ranks among the top three biotechnology regions in the United States, a lack of well-trained workers needed for the coming boom in biopharmaceuticals could threaten the state's place among the national leaders.
The center also will help attract new biotech companies to North Carolina, assist the development of new technologies for production of value-added biopharmaceuticals, protein-based products and chemicals from organisms, plants, cell cultures and other bio-based systems; and enhance the creation of rural biomanufacturing jobs and new agribusiness opportunities.
Biomanufacturing companies create products from living cells or their components. These products include medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, enzymes, amino acids, veterinary medicines and related products that improve lives, create jobs and boost the state's economy.
In addition to BTEC, several existing and planned degrees at NC State will prepare students to work in the industry, including a graduate certificate program in molecular biotechnology; a biotechnology-pharmaceutical concentration within the Master of Business Administration (MBA), which will prepare students for managerial positions in the biotechnology industry; a chemical engineering degree with a biomanufacturing sciences concentration; and a new bioprocessing science degree in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.