North Carolina’s Gateway to the World

As the nation’s oldest public university, UNC serves as a gateway to the world. In the past decade, its researchers have represented North Carolina globally through 738 projects in 105 countries, fighting infectious disease, improving health care, and measuring the impact of US foreign aid dollars on global health.

Serving North Carolina from the Mountains to the Sea

UNC faculty and students are engaged in 2,142 active research projects in all 100 counties that directly address the health, education, and the well-being of North Carolina citizens.

Facts and Figures

  • $2.6B annual contribution to NC’s gross state product by UNC research and startup businesses
  • 10,361 UNC employees funded by UNC Research – an annual in-state payroll of close to $300 million
  • 2,457 patents awarded through UNC’s research; 838 US patents, and 1,619 foreign patents in more than 40 countries
  • 100 tech transfer startups created through UNC faculty discoveries
  • 150 businesses spun out of UNC: More than 100 of these businesses emerged directly from UNC research
  • 8,218 NC employees are working at UNC spinout businesses
  • UNC ranks 19th in the world’s universities for most-cited research papers (CWUIR, 2015)
  • UNC is recognized by the Center for World University Rankings as 21st in the world for research impact. (CWUIR, 2015)

UNC research projects directly addressed the health, education, or wellbeing of NC citizens, in 2015, attracting $179,000,000 in funding
For each dollar of state funding, research centers & institutes attract $21 from external sources


$2.6 Billion total annual North Carolina economic impact of UNC research and UNC startup companies // EMSI, 2013

283 NC businesses founded by UNC faculty and students, creating 8,359 jobs in North Carolina and generating $6.6 billion in annual revenues
// UNC Innovation Hub, 2015

6,486 NC businesses in 95 North Carolina counties are supported by $60 million annual in purchases by UNC Research
// UNC Research, 2016

9,470 NC employees from 89 NC counties are employed by UNC Research throughout the state, with a $295 million annual payroll
// UNC Research, 2016

55 research centers and institutes attracting top faculty and over $445 million annually in external funding to North Carolina for scientific research // UNC RAMSeS, 2016
3,205 inventions have been disclosed at UNC
// UNC Office of Technology Development, 2016

2,577 US and foreign patents have been awarded to UNC
// UNC Office of Technology Development, 2016

Technology created at UNC has generated $53 million in income for the university – revenue used to fund the development of new technologies and the incubation of startup companies
// UNC Office of Technology Development, 2016

$6.7 billion in annual revenue is generated by NC businesses that got their start at Carolina // UNC Research, 2015

UNC spin-out businesses generate $1.6 billion in added income (GSP) to NC annually – the equivalent of 15,000 additional NC jobs //EMSI, 2013

As one of the most trusted partners for research, UNC ranks 11th in the nation for R&D received as a sub-recipient from other universities

// HERD Survey, 2015