Serving North Carolina, Changing the World

Across all 100 North Carolina counties, UNC faculty and students are engaged in thousands of active research projects that directly address the health, education, and well-being of citizens. The nation’s oldest public university, UNC also serves as a gateway to the world. In the past decade, its researchers have represented North Carolina globally through 954 projects in more than 150 countries, fighting infectious disease, improving health care, and measuring the impact of U.S. foreign aid dollars on global health.

$2.6 Billion
annual contribution to North Carolina’s gross state product by UNC research and startup businesses

U.S. patents awarded through UNC’s research

Research awards from sources outside of North Carolina

By the Numbers

  • 11,089 UNC employees funded by UNC Research — an annual in-state payroll of $342 million
  • 121 tech transfer startups created through UNC faculty discoveries
  • 454 active businesses spun out of UNC; 220 of which emerged directly from UNC research
  • 8,902 North Carolina employees are working at UNC spinout businesses
  • 21st most cited university in the world as ranked by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR, 2018)


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

376 North Carolina businesses founded by UNC faculty and students, creating 8,902 jobs across the state and generating $10.5 billion in annual revenues // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2018

10,148 North Carolina employees from 87 counties are employed by UNC Research throughout the state, with a $342 million annual payroll // UNC Research, 2018

48 research centers and institutes attracting top faculty and over $484 million annually in external funding to North Carolina for scientific research // UNC RAMSeS, 2018


3,140 inventions disclosed at UNC // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2018

839 U.S. patents awarded to UNC // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2018

Technology created at UNC has generated $69 million in income for the university – revenue used to fund the development of new innovations and the incubation of startup companies // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2018

$10.5 billion in annual revenue is generated by North Carolina businesses that got their start at Carolina // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2018

UNC spinout businesses generate $1.6 billion in added income (GSP) to North Carloina annually – the equivalent of 15,000 additional jobs //EMSI, 2013

As one of the most trusted partners for research, UNC ranks 6th in the nation for R&D received as a sub-recipient from other universities

// HERD Survey, 2017