Board of Science, Technology & Innovation

As a State-authorized advisory board administered by the Office of Science, Technology & Innovation at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation encourages, promotes, and supports scientific, engineering, and industrial research applications in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the economic well‐being and quality of life of all North Carolinians through advancing science, technology, and innovation.

The Board is focused on accelerating North Carolina's next generation of technology and technology companies. 

The Board works to investigate new areas of emerging science and technology and conducts studies on the competitiveness of North Carolina industry and research institutions in these fields. 

The Board also works with the North Carolina General Assembly and the Governor to put into place the infrastructure that keeps North Carolina on the cutting edge of science and technology. Examples of past and current organizations and programs started by and/or administered by the Board and its staff include:

History of the Board

History of the Board

In 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly established the North Carolina Board of Science & Technology to encourage, promote, and support scientific, engineering, and industrial research applications in North Carolina. In the 2014 legislative session, the General Assembly changed changed the Board's name to Board of Science, Technology & Innovation.

To meet these goals, the Board works to investigate new areas of emerging science and technology and conducts studies on the competitiveness of state industry and research institutions in these fields. The Board also works with the General Assembly and the Governor to put into place the infrastructure that keeps North Carolina on the cutting edge of science and technology.

In the earlier days of industrial recruiting, Governor Terry Sanford relied on the board to assist him in persuading firms to locate in North Carolina, particularly if they needed professionally trained people and scientific and engineering support.

Later, as North Carolina's Department of Commerce became more proficient in industrial recruiting, the board, under Governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin, began to concentrate on strengthening North Carolina's research and education base in fields important to our economic growth and in which our state was in the second or third tier.

Under Governor Mike Easley, the Board continued to ensure that science and technology play an important role in promoting the economic growth and development of the State. The Board also became responsible for administering the One North Carolina Small Business Program, the North Carolina Green Business Fund, and the NC Energy R&D Cost-Sharing Program.

Under the leadership of Governor Beverly Perdue, the primary champion for the creation of the Green Business Fund, the Board continued its mission of fostering innovation as an engine of North Carolina's economic development.

Governor Pat McCrory used the Board as one of the state's key resources for improving the economic well‐being and quality of life of all North Carolinians through advancing science, technology, and innovation. Most notably, the Board and its staff assisted in efforts to make North Carolina the home of the $140 million Next Generation Power Electronics National Manufacturing Innovation Institute, awarded in January 2014. It currently also led a strategic initiative designed to help North Carolina maximize the economic impacts of its strengths in data science, as well as an Innovation-to-Jobs initiative designed to help the state's universities and companies maximize the economic potential of their innovations.

Current Governor Cooper is using the Board to expand the benefits of innovation throughout North Carolina via efforts to improve the innovation ecosystems of communities throughout the state. Check back here for more details in the coming months.

Legislative Basis

According to NC General Statute 143B-472.81, the NC Board of Science, Technology & Innovation consists of the Governor, the Secretary of Commerce, and 23 members appointed as follows. 

The Governor shall appoint:

  • one member from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, nominated by the President of the University of North Carolina;
  • one member from North Carolina State University at Raleigh, nominated by the President of the University of North Carolina;
  • two members from other components of the University of North Carolina, one of which shall be from a historically black college or university, nominated by the President of the University of North Carolina;
  • one member from Duke University, nominated by the President of Duke University;
  • one member from a private college or university, other than Duke University, in North Carolina, nominated by the President of the Association of Private Colleges and Universities;
  • one member of the North Carolina Community College System;
  • one member representing K-12 public education; 
  • six members from private industry in North Carolina;
  • seven at-large members.

Two members shall be appointed by the General Assembly:

  • one shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, 
  • one shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in accordance with G.S. 120-121.

Powers & Duties

(NC General Statute 143B-472.80)

  • To identify, and to support and foster the identification of, important research needs of both public and private agencies, institutions and organizations in North Carolina that relate to the State's economic growth and development;
  • To make recommendations concerning policies, procedures, organizational structures and financial requirements that will promote effective use of scientific and technological resources in fulfilling the research needs identified and that will promote the economic growth and development of North Carolina;
  • To allocate funds available to the board to support research projects, to purchase research equipment and supplies, to construct or modify research facilities, to employ consultants, and for other purposes necessary or appropriate in discharging the duties of the board;
  • To advise and make recommendations to the Governor, the General Assembly, the Secretary of Commerce, and any North Carolina nonprofit corporation with which the Department of Commerce contracts pursuant to G.S. 143B-431.01 on the role of science, technology, and innovation in the
    economic growth and development of North Carolina.
Board Leadership

Board Leadership

Roy Cooper
Governor, State of North Carolina
Ex-Officio Board Member

Tony Copeland
Secretary, N.C. Department of Commerce
Ex-Officio Board Member

Michael Cunningham
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Red Hat, Inc.
Board Chair

Board Members

Board Members

Ex-officio

The Honorable Roy CooperGovernor of the State of North Carolina

Tony Copeland, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce

Chair

Michael Cunningham, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Red Hat, Inc.

Members Appointed by the Governor

Kimberly Bankston, GM Human Resources, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Ravi Bellamkonda, Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University

Jason Botts, Vice President, Information Technology, Chiltern International

Eric Boyette, Secretary and State Chief Information Officer, NC Department of Information Technology

Suresh Chandra, Professor Emeritus & Former Dean, College of Engineering, NC A&T State University

Amalendu Chatterjee, Co-Founder, Eximsoft International

Judith Cone, Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, UNC-Chapel Hill

Algie Gatewood, President, Alamance Community College

H. Christian Hölljes, Professor, Innovation + Design, NC State University

Catherine Horne, President and CEO at Discovery Place, Inc.

Daryush Ila, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Technology Transfer Officer, & Radiation Safety Officer, Fayetteville State University

Keenan Locklear, Science Teacher, Public Schools of Robeson County

Mark McNeilly, Professor of the Practice, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill

Robert A Millet, Vice President for Medical Affairs, Carolina Behavioral Care

Mitch Mumma, Managing General Partner, Intersouth Partners

Matt V. Phillips, President, Zylera Pharma Corp

Olga Pierrakos, Founding Chair and Professor, Department of Engineering, Wake Forest University

Alan Rebar, Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development, NC State University

Donald Thompson, CEO, Creative Allies; Executive Chairman, O3 Creative

Rick Webb, Managing Director, Health and Public Services, Accenture

Robert Wilhelm, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, UNC Charlotte; Executive Director, Charlotte Research Institute

    Member Appointed by the Speaker, North Carolina House of Representatives

    Enoch Moeller, Site Manager, Google, Lenoir Data Center

    Member Appointed by the President Pro Tempore, North Carolina Senate

    Sam Houston, President & CEO, NC Science, Mathematics, and Technology (SMT) Education Center

    Executive Staff

    Executive Staff

    John Hardin, Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    919-814-4639
    jhardin@nccommerce.com

    David Kaiser
    Assistant Director
    919-814-4641
    david.kaiser@nccommerce.com

    Ruth Maitz
    Executive Assistant
    919-814-4642
    ruth.maitz@nccommerce.com