Talent, Training and Scientific Infrastructure. All in NC.

Why North Carolina?

In 2022, life sciences and related companies announced plans to invest $2.1 billion in new or expanded facilities and create 2,700+ new jobs.  Despite recent pandemic challenges, the state’s life sciences jobs have increased by 13% since 2018. According to the 2022 TEConomy Report, North Carolina’s growth as a life sciences hub has outpaced most U.S. life sciences hubs.

North Carolina has 810+ life sciences companies and is a leader in biomanufacturing, gene and cell therapy, and clinical services subsectors. An additional 2,500 companies, with expertise in training, regulatory, policy, and clinical trials, support the sector. Moreover, Fierce Biotech named North Carolina’s Research Triangle Region the nation’s fourth-leading hub for biotechnology activity.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Why are so many life sciences companies choosing to expand in North Carolina? It’s because of North Carolina’s talent, training and scientific infrastructure and business climate.

Top Talent & Training Infrastructure

North Carolina’s highly skilled life sciences workforce is 75,000 employees strong and growing. From certificates to graduate degrees, North Carolina has a full continuum of training programs that fuel its talent pipeline. Each year North Carolina universities award 5,200+ biological and biomedical sciences degrees and 4,600+ engineering degrees. North Carolina State University’s Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center trains students and professionals in cutting-edge biomanufacturing technologies and North Carolina Central University’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise teaches students the science of manufacturing. In the east, there’s the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Services Network, a collaboration between East Carolina University and Pitt Community College, that teaches pharmaceutical manufacturing theory and technique. Additionally, the North Carolina Community College System BioNetwork partners with community colleges offering training solutions, including the BioWork certificate that prepares students for entry-level roles in biopharma manufacturing.


The success of North Carolina’s life sciences hub is due in part to its unique, long-standing partnerships between industry and training partners. These collaborations address sector-specific problems to meet companies’ needs.

Several workforce development initiatives are helping to grow the sector. One notable example is a $25M U.S. Economic Development Administration Build Back Better Regional Challenge award to a coalition of partners, led by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. This award funds programs to further expand and diversify the state’s biopharma manufacturing workforce by:

  • Offering training through minority-serving institutions
  • Expanding training in rural, distressed parts of North Carolina
  • Expanding the BioWork faculty by recruiting from the industry
  • Increasing awareness of and access to training and career opportunities for historically underserved North Carolinians

Leading companies, including Novo Nordisk and Amgen, provided matching funds, demonstrating their commitment to building a diverse workforce that reflects the patients they serve.

Scientific Infrastructure

North Carolina has long invested in scientific infrastructure to fuel innovation. With three top-tier research universities, scientific innovations are seeding new spinouts and advancing technologies to the next level. The state’s five medical schools, four pharmacy schools, and three comprehensive cancer centers are part of the infrastructure that accelerates the process of bringing new therapies to market. While Research Triangle Park has a high concentration of life sciences companies, the scientific infrastructure and innovation spans across the state.

Business Climate and Quality of Life

North Carolina has long been recognized as a business-friendly state because of its low taxes, low business costs, and favorable legal and regulatory environment. In 2022, North Carolina was heralded as the #1 top state for business by CNBC and #1 best business climate by Site Selection magazine. Starting in 2025, the tax rate will drop to 2.25% and gradually decrease to 0% by 2030. Additionally, business operating costs in North Carolina are lower than most leading U.S. life sciences hubs.

Recent Accolades for North Carolina

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

"Companies thrive in North Carolina because of our business climate, inclusive environment and decades-long investment in workforce development and infrastructure,” said Laura Rowley, vice president of life sciences economic development at NCBiotech. “The high quality of life we enjoy is an added bonus.”

From the scenic mountains to beautiful beaches, charming rural regions to culturally rich urban areas, North Carolina has something for everybody. Our mid-Atlantic location and moderate climate are all part of the attraction to the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina – A Smart Choice

North Carolina has so much to offer life sciences companies. The state's growth and impact on global challenges are undeniable. With diverse talent, science and infrastructure, North Carolina is an ideal place to locate or scale a business. To learn more, visit

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.