The Origins Of The Research Triangle Park, Nc
Spread over 7,000 acres in the heart of North Carolina, The Research Triangle Park is a research park that was created in 1959 by leading North Carolina business men, industrialists and academicians. It is currently home to over 150 organizations from diverse industries and work-place to over 39,000 full-time professionals. Successfully overcoming its initial hurdles, the Park now recruits some of the world’s top talents in various fields including information technology, biotechnology, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals and is often refereed to as the Silicon Valley of the East.
Worried about the imminent brain drain resulting from graduates leaving North Carolina for better job prospects, many Triangle area professionals formed the concept of a research park that would promote development of new industries and boost cooperation among research organizations. The idea found favor with many prominent citizens, including entrepreneur Romeo Guest and Howard Odum, sociology professor at the University of North Carolina. They went all out to promote their idea and in 1957, investor Karl Robbins agreed to fund the purchase of the land that was required for the research park. By the end of 1957, they acquired 3,559 acres and in January 1959, the Research Triangle Institute was established. Construction of its headquarters began soon after, and RTI became the Park’s first tenant.
In 1965, two giant corporations, the National Institute of Environment Health Science and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) set up huge facilities at the park, and they were soon followed by many others. Today as many as 157 organizations have established facilities within The Research Triangle Park.
What started off as an innovative concept turned out to be a reality and a stupendously successful one at that. Today world-class research and development organizations from various fields including telecommunications, information technology and pharmaceuticals have huge investments and facilities in the Research Triangle Park. They provide employment not only for North Carolina’s graduates, but also for graduates from all over the world, completely transforming the economic profile of the state.