Science & Technology
5:15 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Big Grant for Marine Biotech Center

There is a major move underway to grow the state’s Biotechnology industry by diving for opportunities off the coast.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has approved a 2-point-5 million dollar grant to establish a Marine Biotechnology Center of Innovation.  Scientists have already been using marine life to develop commercial products, but the four year grant will likely accelerate the process.   Norris Tolson is the president and C-E-O of the Biotech Center.  He says the industry is excited by such a move.

Norris Tolson:  "Because we think the Marine Biotech segment can be quite large.   We don’t know how big that segment will be, but it could be in the billions of dollars for North Carolina."

Tolson says the Marine Biotech Center is expected to eventually become an independent operation focusing on everything from energy to aquatic foods and diagnostics.