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News Release

For immediate use

Aug. 3, 2007

Total research revenues top $610 million

CHAPEL HILL – As federal funding for research stalls and competition for investment from other sources heats up, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has again grown its revenues.

Growth hit 2.9 percent in fiscal 2007, putting UNC above $610 million in total grants and contracts. That’s $17 million more than last year’s record of $593 million, and more than twice as much revenue just 10 years ago.

“Our growth in sponsored funding reflects the high quality of innovative faculty who are finding solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing us today,” said Chancellor James Moeser.

“Carolina’s faculty are conducting cutting-edge research that advances knowledge and directly benefits the people of North Carolina and beyond,” said Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development. 

While competition for funding from the National Institutes of Health has increased sharply, UNC’s share of those funds rose 6.6 percent to $314 million, accounting for 51 percent of overall investments. The School of Medicine attracted $298 million in 2007, almost two-thirds from the NIH.

The School of Public Health received $115 million and the College of Arts and Sciences attracted $95 million. Interdisciplinary centers, institutes and other units that do not fall under one particular school accounted for $138 million. 

The School of Social Work grew by 36 percent to more than $18.7 million, and the School of Pharmacy saw a 41 percent jump in revenue to $13.5 million.

“The success we have had in attracting greater NIH support over the past few years reflects how serious we are about building the School of Pharmacy's research enterprise and recruiting and retaining world-class faculty,” said Dean Bob Blouin. “The School of Pharmacy already has one of the best professional education programs in the country, and we are elevating our research program to match it.”

UNC and its Board of Trustees also placed an emphasis on retaining excellent faculty members, which helps leverage research investments and attract other quality research collaborators, Waldrop said.

Each year, UNC averages 120 technology transfer agreements, bringing in $2.5 million to $4 million in royalties. UNC ranks 10th in the nation in patent strength.

The growth in research comes at an especially important time as UNC works with the local community to move forward with Carolina North, a research campus to be located near the university’s main campus. The first component of Carolina North could be the Innovation Center. More than an incubator, the facility would provide space for research start-ups and capital management teams to attract seed capital and accelerate research into the marketplace.

In 2008 Carolina will also open the Nutrition Research Institute at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

Last month, the North Carolina General Assembly made a major commitment to research at UNC by creating the University Cancer Research Fund. The fund will invest $25 million in 2007-2008, $40 million the following year and start a regular investment of $50 million in 2009. The funds will boost UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Carolina Cancer Hospital, expected to open in 2009, to the forefront of cancer centers worldwide, increasing treatment opportunities for patients now and in the future.

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