Bioprocessing in North Carolina

Chinese Hamster Ovary cells grown in cell culture for the production of recombinant proteins

According to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC), North Carolina is extremely well positioned to become the world’s preeminent biomanufacturing center over the next two decades. Currently, the biggest capacity shortage facing North Carolina is an available, skilled workforce. Bioprocessing is a broad term encompassing the research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of products prepared from or used by biological systems, including food, feed, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics. Currently, the bioprocessing industries top $35 billion annually worldwide, with $86 billion in sales projected for the US market alone within the next two decades. Today, 20,000 North Carolinians work as biotechnologists in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Roughly 3000 new employees are required annually, just in North Carolina, to meet the demand for trained professionals, yet fewer than 300 workers are supplied. This shortfall of trained talent diminishes the State’s appeal when attracting new companies into North Carolina.

The BBS program is a melding of the University’s historic strengths, with the anticipation of delivering a highly educated and experienced workforce to the agribiotechnology industries. The BBS program in coordination with other University efforts, specifically the Biotechnology program (BIT) and the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), uniquely positions the University to help attract new businesses and business relocations to North Carolina, ultimately enhancing the economic welfare of the state.