Regional Developers Market the Region to Key Contacts in Defense, Gaming, Solar, Real Estate

Research Triangle Region, N.C. – Research Triangle Region developers posted a whirlwind recruiting month in October, meeting with key contacts in defense, gaming and solar clusters, commercial real estate and site selection in Chicago, Dallas, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Montreal.

The recruiting missions focused on making and deepening connections with professionals who help companies make location and expansion decisions. Developers aim to ensure these key contacts know what the region can offer innovative companies in its targeted clusters, such as life sciences, technology and defense.

Defense industry expo

Wayne Watkins, project manager for Wake County Economic Development, led a major marketing blitz at the annual Association of the U.S Army expo and convention in Washington, D.C. Oct. 10-12. The region hosted a North Carolina Pavilion – the only state-center expo pavilion of its kind to exhibit at AUSA.

Thirteen N.C.-based defense technology companies represented a range of defense applications, from power and engine technologies to capabilities and software applications. Each company occupied a kiosk in the pavilion and participated in three days of intense networking and business development. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagen (D-NC) visited the pavilion during the expo to meet with each of N.C.-based companies. N.C. Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco also participated.

AUSA is the largest land warfare expo in the country, with more than 700 exhibitors and 25,000 attendees from around the world. Floor space at the AUSA expo is coveted, and the N.C. Pavilion was made possible due to Wake County Economic Development’s sustaining membership with AUSA. Plans are under way to expand the North Carolina floor presence for next year’s conference to enable more N.C.-based defense technology companies to attend.

Solar industry trade show

Timmy Baynes, executive director of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, who leads marketing for Triangle North business parks, traveled to Dallas Oct. 17-19 with Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Commission Director Stuart Litvin and Triangle North board member Danny Wright to represent the region at the Solar Power International Trade Show.

Solar power is one of the emerging areas in the Research Triangle CleanTech Cluster. It is of particular interest to Triangle North since Semprius announced plans to build a pilot plant to produce high concentration photovoltaic solar modules next to Triangle North’s park in Vance County.

The fact-finding mission focused on gathering market intelligence and making contacts regional developers can use to market the region for investment in this sector.

Commercial real estate global conference

Debbie Lilly, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership’s (RTRP) vice president of business development, teamed with James Sauls, director of Raleigh Economic Development, to market the region at the 2011 World Conference of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors in Chicago Oct. 20-22.

The conference attracted more than 800 real estate brokers and companies, including Grubb & Ellis, NAI Global, Colliers Pinkard, CB Richard Ellis, Jones Lang LaSalle, Cushman & Wakefield and Duke Realty Corp.

These brokers are often the first line of contact for companies seeking to locate or expand. Lilly and Sauls met with brokers who work with companies from all over the world to brief them on the 13-county region.

Site selection consultant events

While in Chicago, Lilly attended a three-day consultant forum Oct. 23-25, connecting with 14 site selection consultants and many of the 80 U.S. economic development professionals who attended.

Lilly also joined other North Carolina developers at a Friends of North Carolina site consultant luncheon in New York City Nov. 2., which was attended by 39 site selection consultants.

Gaming industry summit

Wake Economic Development’s Watkins represented the region at the Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS) Oct. 31-Nov. 3, attended by more than 1,500 gaming industry participants. MIGS develops and promotes skills and knowledge in the gaming industry and encourages communication among all of the industry players.

The Research Triangle Region is a growing hub for the serious gaming industry and home to the nation’s largest concentration of game engine development companies. Regional developers focus not only on expanding investment in the sector but in promoting the region to creative-class workers who fuel its growth.

Contact RTRP

Regional developers travel to Austin, Charlotte, Greenville and Washington, D.C. in coming weeks to market the region to site selection consultants. Anyone with leads on companies and contacts on companies seeking to relocate or expand should contact Lilly at RTRP, (919) 840-7372 ext. 13 or