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Biotechnology
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Policy Implications

Introduction

As it can be seen, biotechnology is one of the fastest growing young industries in the world.  It has the potential to greatly impact the economy and the people of North Carolina.  However, with such growth comes competition, and North Carolina will have to take steps to ensure that the biotechnology industry remains strong in this state.  Policy can be established in the forms of legislation and educational and organizational strategies and funding to ensure that NC stays at the top of the game.

Past Policy

The following policy has been implemented in North Carolina in an attempt to further the Biotechnology Industry.1

  • 0-1% sales tax on R&D equipment and no sales tax on manufacturing equipment.

  • 5-year net operating loss carry forward for R&D tax credit.

  • 7% tax credit for qualified purchases of machinery and equipment. 5% tax credit for R&D expenditures made in North Carolina.

  • Tax credits of $500 to $1000 for employees being trained. Tax cuts of $500 to $12,500 for new jobs created

  • Low cost financing for renovation and facility upgrade projects.

  • 1981 - North Carolina was the first state to set up a biotechnology center.  The NC Biotechnology Center is instrumental in bringing in new corporations as well as funding job training, etc.

  • Implemented the placement of 2 new incubators near Universities.

  • Set up a biotechnology office in the North Carolina Community College System's Program for Job Training.

  • Offers a number of different training options within the NCCCS, including helping companies design training for newly created jobs.  Also, has a special 128 hour course specifically aimed at training former manufacturing workers for the biotechnology industry.

  • NCCCS is the third largest community college system in the country, and is consistently ranked very highly for job training programs.

Recommendations for the Future

North Carolina has been actively trying to stay competitive in the global economy in the field of biotechnology.  The policy pursued thus far has been in an attempt to keep previously established businesses here and to lure other major international corporations to the area.  This is the best course of action that North Carolina can pursue.  With other major manufacturing industries declining in the state, this young, rapidly expanding industry could provide many new jobs in the state.  Thus, the best recommendation is to continue along the exact same lines and keep supporting the expansion of the industry by any means necessary.

Susan Seymour, director of the biotechnology training initiative in the NCCCS, believes that the industry will expand in clusters.  In other words, as major companies set up in North Carolina, smaller shipping, supply, and other companies will set up around them to help support them.  Thus, if North Carolina can do a good job bringing in the major companies, a whole infrastructure will develop around them that will help to root the industry firmly in the state.



© 2004. last updated: April 28, 2004
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