NC State chancellor receives top research park award for his Centennial Campus efforts

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NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson received the 2023 Leadership Award at the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) International Conference, which was hosted this year at the University of Delaware. AURP is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization representing research parks and innovation districts. Chancellor Woodson was recognized for driving the success and impact of NC State’s Centennial Campus.

“Chancellor Woodson’s leadership has been tremendous and enabled the campus to grow to what it is today,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “This award highlights his achievements and also the success of NC State and its globally-recognized Centennial Campus.”

AURP’s Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the success and overall economic impact of a university research and technology park. Past award recipients include University of California–Davis Chancellor Gary May, U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (Maryland) and 28th Governor General of Canada David Johnston, among others. In 2014, AURP recognized former North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. for his early visioning of Centennial Campus.

Since becoming NC State’s 14th chancellor in 2010, Woodson’s leadership has resulted in significant advancements in student success, innovative research and collaborative partnerships. NC State is now a powerhouse in research and innovation with a reported $547 million in research expenditures in 2021, a 47% increase since his arrival. The university has also become a key driver in efforts to attract national and global industries to the state, which helped land North Carolina’s recognition as America’s Top State for Business by CNBC in 2022 and again in 2023.

These strategic initiatives have served as catalysts supporting Centennial Campus’ continued growth to more than 70 industry and government organizations who work alongside an equal number of academic departments and centers. Over the last five years, these partners have hired more than 2,000 NC State students and invested $120 million in university research. Key recruitments during Woodson’s tenure include Eastman Chemical Company, the National Security Agency and Under Armour, among others.

Other notable achievements under Woodson’s leadership include:

  • NC State’s Plant Sciences Building, which opened in 2022 and brings together academia, industry and government to develop solutions to help feed a growing population — such as creating new technologies to increase crop yields and enhance global sustainability.
  • Fitts-Woolard Hall, which opened in 2020 and provides 225,000 square feet of critical engineering research and education innovation space. The facility represents a first-of-its-kind infrastructure project for NC State, using a public-private partnership to fund the construction of an academic building.
  • NC State becoming, in 2018, the first university in North America to establish an IBM Quantum Computing Hub — a collaboration between IBM and top Fortune 500 companies, national research labs and leading universities working to advance quantum computing globally. Located on Centennial Campus, the hub provides real-world opportunities to faculty and students as they advance this emerging field.

AURP was established in 1986 by a group of founding members, including Stanford Research Park and North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, to advance the future of U.S. research, science and tech parks. Today, the nonprofit organization has grown to serve more than 700 leaders representing research parks and innovation districts worldwide. These developments are designed to foster technology transfer and economic development through partnerships between academia, industry and government. NC State’s Centennial Campus has been a member of AURP since 1994.


Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire