Serving North Carolina, Changing the World

Across all 100 North Carolina counties, UNC faculty and students are engaged in 2,100+ 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 738 projects in 105 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

For each dollar of state funding, research centers and institutes attract $9 from external sources

By the Numbers

  • 9,456 UNC employees funded by UNC Research — an annual in-state payroll of $300 million
  • 116 tech transfer startups created through UNC faculty discoveries
  • 358 businesses spun out of UNC; nearly 200 of which emerged directly from UNC research
  • 8,090 North Carolina employees are working at UNC spinout businesses
  • 20th in the world for research impact as ranked by the Center for World University Rankings, and 15th for most-cited research papers (CWUR, 2017)


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

306 North Carolina businesses founded by UNC faculty and students, creating 8,090 jobs across the state and generating $10 billion in annual revenues // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2017

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

9,456 North Carolina employees from 90 counties are employed by UNC Research throughout the state, with a $300 million annual payroll // UNC Research, 2017

50 research centers and institutes attracting top faculty and over $492 million annually in external funding to North Carolina for scientific research // UNC RAMSeS, 2017


2,926 inventions disclosed at UNC // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2017

768 U.S. patents awarded to UNC // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2017

Technology created at UNC has generated $62 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, 2017

$10 billion in annual revenue is generated by North Carolina businesses that got their start at Carolina // UNC Office of Commercialization & Economic Development, 2017

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 10th in the nation for R&D received as a sub-recipient from other universities

// HERD Survey, 2016