North Carolina’s involvement in the history of technology can be traced back to the 1950s, when the state’s economic future was hanging in the balance. With one of the nation’s lowest income rates and a dependency on agriculture and textile manufacturing, the state decided it needed to attract the attention of modern businesses, and in order to do so, local leaders looked to its three leading academic institutions — UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina State and Duke University. In 1956, with the universities’ support and endorsement from Governor Luther Hodges, the Research Triangle Committee was formed, which later became what we know now as the Research Triangle Park. By the 1990s, the area that encompasses the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill region became regarded as The Research Triangle, cementing the Southeastern state’s importance as a tech powerhouse.
Among the many companies that have joined the park throughout the decades, many of them are involved in the life sciences, spanning sectors like biomanufacturing and agriculture. In fact, according to the park’s website, it is the home of an agricultural biotech industry that generates $86 billion annually. Over the years, the park has witnessed the arrival of various tech giants like IBM, Cisco Systems and GlaxoSmithKline. Yet, these are only a few of the organizations that form this sprawling tech ecosystem. Here’s a look at 19 Research Triangle Park companies that help make up a world-class network of global innovators and revolutionary developers.
Research Triangle Park Companies to Know
- KBI Biopharma
- Connect Cause
- Spotlight Solar
What they do: MetLife provides individuals and families with a range of insurance options for everything from homes and vehicles to pets and accidents. MetLife also works with businesses of varying sizes to bring them employee benefits solutions, such as dental, vision, life and disability insurance. The company serves customers across more than three dozen global markets.
Focus: Cancer Research + Detection
What they do: Bringing together scientific thought and cutting-edge design, GRAIL has built the technology capable of detecting different cancers. The Galleri test has proven to be a highly accurate and effective method for catching cancer before it can spread, and all the test requires is a single blood draw. With improved cancer screening, GRAIL is restoring peace of mind to patients and healthcare professionals.
What they do: Advarra provides institutional review board (IRB), institutional biosafety committee (IBC) and research quality and compliance consulting services. The company provides highly specialized review services for areas like biosafety, oncology and neurology. Advarra serves pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and contact research organizations in addition to academic medical centers and health systems.
Focus: Agricultural Research
What they do: AgBiome is a biotech company that provides early-stage research for agriculture, exploring the crop microbiome to identify products that reduce risk and improve yield. The company’s GENESIS platform captures and screens diverse microbial collections for agriculturally relevant applications, tracking the complete genome sequence of every microbe as well as detailed laboratory assay results and field trial performance. AgBiome’s agricultural innovations include the discovery and development of biopesticides as well as the creation of products designed to overcome growing pest resistance and active ingredient dosage issues.
Focus: Clinical Supply Chain Intelligence + Operations Management
What they do: Cenduit provides clinical supply chain intelligence and clinical operations knowledge management through IRT-driven solutions and services. Working with pharmaceutical companies across the globe, the company specializes in patient randomization, trial supply management, drug allocation, integration, drug accountability and traceability, and reporting and forecasting. Cenduit’s IRT platform helps businesses reach their goals with rapid deployment, flexible integration and versatile access and control.
Focus: Drug Development + Biomanufacturing Services
What they do: KBI Biopharma offers fully integrated, accelerated drug development and biomanufacturing services to organizations across the globe. The company’s capabilities include microbial cell line development, cell culture, biologics manufacturing, commercial release and stability, parallel processing of cell therapy products, and biophysical characterization. KBI Biopharma primarily serves the biotech, pharmaceutical research and development community.
Focus: Data Management + Governance
What they do: Zaloni helps organizations realize the power of their data to uncover transformative business insights. Built upon extensible machine learning, the company’s software offers DataOps platform optimization, helping businesses conquer data sprawl challenges, quickly create revenue streams and make their data secure. Zaloni provides total control throughout the data pipeline with data management, governance, and self-service data preparation capabilities.
Focus: Single Cell Sorting + Isolation
What they do: Founded by Dr. Nancy Allbritton, Dr. Chris Sims and Dr. Yuli Wang, Cell Microsystems is an early growth stage company that develops, manufactures and markets products for single cell biology. The company’s technology enables the sorting and isolation of single cells under standard culture conditions resulting in unperturbed phenotypes and high viability. This allows users to select a cell in real-time and track that cell through imaging, collection and downstream analysis. Cell Microsystems’ real-time imaging process ensures that no cells are wasted during single cell isolation.
Focus: Life Sciences Solutions
What they do: Sciome LLC is a research and tech consulting company that provides informatics solutions to the life sciences industry. Working with researchers in government, academic and private sector organizations, the company develops and deploys novel bioinformatics, cheminformatics, text-mining and data science solutions. The company’s client base includes Johns Hopkins University, U.S. Food and Drug Association, Proctor & Gamble and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Focus: Sustainable Building Materials
What they do: With the goal of reinventing the green building space, bioMASON has developed an eco-friendly approach to the construction industry. The company creates its sustainable building materials through the use of microorganisms so that it offers the same durability and real-world stamina as natural stone. With its natural manufacturing process, bioMASON seeks to offer the lowest carbon footprint cement product available.
Focus: Developer Support
What they do: Devada is dedicated to empowering developers through its knowledge sharing and community management platform. The company’s AnswerHub platform provides developer support to increase employee satisfaction, improve code quality and boost productivity, while DZone helps developers reach an engaged audience with content from experts and contributors. Devada’s aim is to drive knowledge sharing, foster community collaboration and facilitate growth.
Focus: Smart Home Tech
What they do: Established by Tim Seaton and Tommi Parkkila, Breezi makes smart connected devices that serve as a fitness tracker for HVAC systems. The company’s AirPulse technology lets customers know when to change their filters, while their mobile app allows for users to easily track HVAC needs. The BreeziBot feature also helps customers answer quick questions about their air filters and home health.
Focus: Diagnostic Medical Devices
What they do: Avioq manufactures in vitro diagnostic medical devices. The company has developed a wide range of products including an FDA approved HIV-1 assay for screening serum and plasma from blood donor samples, a rapid influenza virus drug resistance test and an oral fluid collection device.
Focus: Drug Development
What they do: Avolynt is a clinical stage drug development company dedicated to improving the lives of patients suffering from dysfunctions related to human metabolism. So far, the company has made significant advances in the research of various metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Focus: Enterprise Blockchain Technology
What they do: BlocLedger is dedicated to advancing enterprise blockchain technology to address the rigors of the world’s most demanding data centers. Using its Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology, the company offers a wide range of services such as demo and proof of concept development, blockchain deployment and configuration, hands-on training and AWS and IBM cloud hosting. BlocLedger is designed to help enterprise companies with the evaluation, implementation and deployment of blockchain technology.
Focus: Salesforce Solutions
What they do: Cloud Giants specializes in Salesforce solutions that improve businesses’ efficiency. The company’s Salesforce services include strategic system guidance, ongoing maintenance, administration-as-a-service, roadmaps, business process modeling, sales effectiveness, and reporting and analytics. Cloud Giants’ client base includes Magnus Health, Credo, Second Nature Home Wellness and Pendo.
Focus: Sustainable Crop Production
What they do: Founded by Antonio Molina Fernandez and Pablo Rodriguez Palenzuela, PlantResponse Biotech uses its tech platform to screen for discoveries and create products for sustainable crop production. The company’s fast-track platform enables them to screen natural biological candidates and identify and characterize novel traits for plant breeding programs. PlantResponse’s collection of products are designed to enhance crop performance, improve crop quality and promote yield potential.
Focus: Solar Structures
What they do: Spotlight Solar specializes in the development of solar structures for highly visible locations. The company’s structures incorporate solar panels in sculptural forms, boasting flexible configuration and orientation and the ability to withstand wind speeds of up to 175 mph. Spotlight Solar has completed projects for various clients including the Kennedy Space Center, the Orlando Convention Center, Target and Alliant Energy.
Focus: Managed IT Services
What they do: Connect Cause is a managed IT services provider that works specifically with nonprofits and other charitable foundations. The company’s suite of services includes cloud application hosting, migration and deployment, data backup and recovery, compliance management, and computer and network security. Connect Cause aims to confront the challenges associated with running a nonprofit, helping them cut technology costs and improve ROI so they can make a bigger impact.