Mayor’s Blog

Kannapolis: Home to Major Life Science Industry Cluster

Categories: Mayor's Blog

From medical device manufacturing to nutrition research to pharmaceuticals, the Charlotte region, particularly Kannapolis, is a lab leader, cultivating innovation in manufacturing, biotechnology and medical research.


In fact, North Carolina is home to a biotech workforce of 60,000, hundreds of which are located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.  And, the state as a whole has the fastest employment growth of top biotech clusters – 23.5 percent from 2001 to 2010.

According to Norris Tolson, president and CEO of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, “For the last 12 to 15 years, North Carolina has funneled on average at least $100 million per year to life-science research, education, infrastructure and job creation. We’re consistently ranked among the best business climates in the nation by Forbes, CNBC, Chief Executive and Site Selection. It’s that unique combination of critical mass and collaborative spirit that gives North Carolina the complete package for success in the life sciences.”

Access to new technologies, products, talent and markets is critical for life sciences companies’ efforts to maintain competiveness and generate growth in an environment characterized by price pressures, fast technological changes and increasingly sophisticated consumers.

As the Mayor of Kannapolis, I’m proud to say that the North Carolina Research Campus offers interesting opportunities for the acquisition or development of intellectual property as well as the production of sophisticated products.

The 350-acre campus is committed to providing an outlet for students and experienced researchers to identify advancements in agriculture, nutrition and human health. Support also comes from North Carolina’s strong community college system, which includes Rowan-Cabarrus Community College that offers specialized training in biotechnology, nursing and life sciences.

Mr. David Murdock is the visionary behind the North Carolina Research Campus. He dedicated more than one billion dollars to create a world class research hub where collaborative science will lead to great discoveries in nutrition, health and biotechnology research.  And, his vision has allowed our community to prosper – establishing new jobs and services for our citizens.

It may surprise some to learn that North Carolina is home to the third largest biotechnology cluster in the United States. Our community has worked hard to make this claim a reality. We offer existing and potential companies looking to relocate here, access to a skilled workforce, sophisticated venture capitalists, and many biotech firms, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions. Take a look at who’s thriving in Kannapolis and all over Cabarrus County, then answer this question… why wouldn’t you want to be a part of the action?