The Research Triangle Park

Building a Global AgTech Hub in RTP

By Author Jul 03, 2019

Report details life science industry’s growing importance in helping transform NC economy

The Triangle already has what it takes to build a global AgTech hub. Agriculture and agribusiness combined is the leading industry in North Carolina, where more than 52,000 farms occupy 8.5 million acres of farmland. More than 1,600 of these farms are century farms, meaning they have been in continuous family ownership for 100 years or more.

By leveraging local talent fueled by nationally-ranked research universities, our bustling life science sector has generated $83.3B in economic output so far.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP)’s 23rd annual State of the Region conference was focused on the AgTech industry, bringing in local experts, industry leaders, and public officials. 

RTRPSOR19Speakers represented NC State College of Ag and Life Sciences, Syngenta RTP, Circularis Partners, and Finistere Ventures. Adrian Percy, CTO of Finistere Ventures and independent director of early-stage AgTech companies, expressed the unique opportunity to become an epicenter for AgTech, pointing out the region’s existing major agribusiness, growing startup community, competitive talent pool, new infrastructure, access to capital, and neighboring academic institutions with unique programs such as NC State’s Plant Science Institute. 

The Triangle region employs 74% of North Carolina’s Ag tech workforce. Research Triangle Park alone houses companies such as Syngenta, AgBiome, Bayer CropScience, BASF Corporation, bioMason, Boragen, and the AgTech Accelerator Corporation. 

According to NCBiotech, North Carolina has more than 100 ag tech companies of all sizes, employing approximately 9,200 individuals in the state. North Carolina is an extremely diverse agricultural state, producing more than 80 commodities grown in nearly 48,000 farms. 

How we grow, purchase, and eat our food is changing, too. Ag tech bridges new technologies and agriculture to drive the future of sustainability, food security, and other intersecting private-public sectors. New solutions and products that emerge in the agspace will help drive continued growth.