NC Biotech Center cuts programs, jobs - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

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>>

  • North Carolina NewsMore>>

  • NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:15:49 GMT
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
  • NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:18:26 GMT
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
  • Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:58:27 GMT
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:40:54 GMT
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

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