ABB North America
“The combination of North Carolina’s support for technology innovation, our great partnership with N.C. State University, the abundance of engineering talent, support from state officials, and the Triangle ...
President and CEO, ABB Inc.
ABB located its North American headquarters in the Research Triangle Region because of the competitive assets it offers – R&D, talent and specialized centers, such as N.C. State’s FREEDM Systems Center, the National Science Foundation-funded research center – that keep it at the leading edge of smart grid technology development.
ABB stays, grows and invests here because of the innovation-rich environment and synergistic collaboration among companies, universities and government – the region’s renowned triple helix model for business development.
The most recent example: a $632,000 gift from ABB to N.C. State University’s electrical and computer engineering department in 2011, which leveraged state and matching grants to create a $1.2 million initiative to support power engineering research and education at the university and help the global power and automation technology company recruit top engineering professionals.
The gift established an endowed professorship, a faculty support fund, annual scholarships and a lecture series, all focused on power engineering, a field that deals with the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power, as well as the electrical devices connected to those systems. ABB, a global power and automation technology group, is one of the world’s largest power grid suppliers.
“One of our biggest challenges is finding skilled engineers who are well-trained in the technical principles of this dynamic field,” Enrique Santacana, president and CEO of ABB Inc. and region manager of ABB North America said in announcing the gift. “Not only will this initiative establish a pipeline of talented people for ABB, it combines N.C. State’s top academic thinking and our practical business know-how for advancing this exciting and rapidly changing industry.”
ABB has a long-standing relationship with the region. In 1991, ABB became the first corporate tenant on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus, where the company manages two of its five North American regional divisions, the power products and power systems divisions. In 2010, ABB announced the expansion of its Centennial Campus facilities to include the Smart Grid Center of Excellence, a testing and development laboratory and demonstration center to showcase ABB’s smart grid technologies and partnerships. ABB has invested at least $300,000 more in other research, fellowships and partnerships at N.C. State and is an industry partner of the FREEDM Systems Center.
“The combination of North Carolina’s support for technology innovation, our great partnership with N.C. State University, the abundance of engineering talent, support from state officials, and the Triangle’s growing reputation as a hotbed of smart-grid activity make Raleigh the right place to make this investment,” says Santacana.