NC Biotech Center cuts programs, jobs - WNCN: News, Weather

NC Biotech Center cuts programs, jobs

Posted: Updated:
The Biotechnology Center announced it is cutting staff and programs as a result of a significant budget cut from the state. The Biotechnology Center announced it is cutting staff and programs as a result of a significant budget cut from the state.
DURHAM, N.C. -

The Biotechnology Center, with its state appropriation slashed to $12.6 million from $17.2 million, announced Tuesday it is cutting staff and programs as a result of a significant budget cut from the state.

As of Sept. 1, the center located in the Research Triangle Park is:

  • Ending the Education and Training Program, which includes three grant programs.
  • Cutting research grants programs by closing the Multidisciplinary Research Grants and trimming the Institutional Development Grants and Collaborative Funding Grants.
  • Trimming community and economic development programs by ending the Regional Development Grants and reducing the Biotechnology Meeting Grants, Presidential Initiative Awards and Economic Development Awards. 
  • Ending the Industrial Fellowship Program and reducing the Small Business Research Loans.

The center said it will honor all awards already made in these programs.

The center is also cutting staff through a mixture of layoffs and unfilled positions. Seven positions were terminated on Tuesday.

More staff losses are expected through a voluntary separation program.

"It is difficult to shutter programs that are significant to our life science community," said Norris Tolson, president and CEO. "Each of these programs had outstanding success metrics, leveraging additional investment and jobs.

"However, with limited resources, and with the legislature's direction in the budget resolution, changes must be made."

Scores of teachers came to the Biotechnology Center to be trained on how to create courses in biotechnology for students -- one of the program that was among those cut. 

"We trained 200 teachers every summer," Tolson said. "If we don't do it, then someone else will have to do it or it won't get done."

The center also provided loans to startup companies in the biotech field -- loans that companies couldn't get anywhere else because investors are often skittish of new technology. 

Tolson said the impact of the cuts will affect job creation in this state.

"With less money, we won't be able to invest in as many startup companies and those companies will find that money somewhere else," Tolson explained. "They'll either go to another state or go out of business. They won't be able  to grow."

Tolson added, "In the last two years, the center has helped created between 25 and 30 new startup companies and is responsible for creating 58,000 jobs in the last 30 years."

In addition to the seven layoffs Tuesday, there will be more cuts in September when up to 18 people may take voluntary separation.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Wilson community holds vigil for slain 7-year-old boy

    Wilson community holds vigil for slain 7-year-old boy

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:58 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:58:46 GMT
    Hundreds stood outside the Wilson County Courthouse on Sunday night to help a family grieve four days after 7-year-old Kamari Jones was shot and killed in his own home.
    Hundreds stood outside the Wilson County Courthouse on Sunday night to help a family grieve four days after 7-year-old Kamari Jones was shot and killed in his own home.
  • 2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:00:14 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
  • Stolen dinosaur replica returned to Raleigh museum

    Stolen dinosaur replica returned to Raleigh museum

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:13 PM EDT2014-07-28 16:13:16 GMT
    A model of a baby dinosaur that was stolen from the Museum of Natural Sciences has been returned to the museum, officials said at a news conference Monday.
    A model of a baby dinosaur that was stolen from the Museum of Natural Sciences has been returned to the museum, officials said at a news conference Monday.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.