Scientific Presence North Carolina

Business is Global. Innovation is Local

Scientific presence is a holistic look at science and technology activity; a picture of inventive and innovative trends, emerging markets, talent pools, and the depth of scientific, technical and engineering enterprise, the indicators of future economic development and growth.


2013 Way Better Count: 4,726 — US Rank — #13
2013 Official Count: 3,143— US Rank — #13
Patents 1963—2013: 54,458
Use the Map and Scientific Presence Indicators and Metrics at left to examine the elements of scientific presence in North Carolina or click the map to see the Scientific Presence Profile for another state. The Scientific Presence profiles are dynamic and are updated when new metrics and observatons become available, please visit often.

Businesses & Outposts

319 Organizations

National and international corporations, universities, government agencies, businesses, and other organizations
earning patents with first named inventors from North Carolina.

The Top Ten

Companies Working With North Carolina Inventors 2009—2013 based on first named inventors who are from North Carolina.

  2. CREE, INC.
  7. RED HAT, INC.

The Complete List →

All Independent Inventors

2012 — 385 | 2013 — 430 | 2014 — 430
Total 1977—2014: 13,015
2014 US Rank: #18 | Overall Rank: #18

Independent Inventors are not affiliated with a company or other entity when their patents are granted. Many independent inventors use their patents as an important asset for new business formation. If a patent has more than one inventor, each inventor is counted according to his or her state of residence at the time of patent grant. If an inventor has more than one patent, he or she is counted once for each patent.
Source: USPTO

Research & Development (R&D)

Total 2012 R&D Expenditures in North Carolina: $9,356,000,000.

US R&D Rank — #13 | R&D Intensity — 2.15%
North Carolina GDP — $436,144,000,000 | GDP Rank — 9
SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Business R&D and Innovation Survey, 2011.

North Carolina R&D Spending

In Millions of Dollars — 000,000)
SOURCES: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NSF/NCSES), National Patterns of R&D Resources (annual series), Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey, Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development, Survey of State Government R&D. State GDP data are from the US. Bureau of Economic Analysis, http://www.bea.gov, accessed 1 August 2013.
Category Subcategory US
R&D Spending
North Carolina
R&D Spending
All R&D $428,163 $9,356
Business Business - Total 294,093 6,193
Paid by The Business 238,768 5,157
Paid By Others - Non Federal Sources 24,015 909
Paid By Others - Federal Sources 31,909 128
Universities & Colleges Total 62,457 2,567
Federal Sources 37,714 1,609
Other Government Sources 3,718 155
Business 3,189 53
University &College Directly 12,965 362
Non-Profit Organizations 4,872 140
Other Non-Profits 6,553 190
States Internal NA 19
Federal 35,775 387
FFRDCs Total 17,718 0
FFRDCs - Federal NA 0
FFRDCs - Non-Federal NA 0

North Carolina Higher Education R&D (HERD) Spending

(Dollars in thousands - 000)
Source: National Science Foundation — Higher education R&D (HERD) expenditures, by geographic division, state, and source of funds: FY 2012
All R&D
Federal Government State & Local
Institution Funding Business Nonprofit
All Other Sources
US $65,774,524 $40,130,460 $3,704,365 $13,673,539 $3,281,809 $4,033,233 $951,118
North Carolina 2,682,081 1,665,313 116,254 425,485 316,764 156,474 1,791

See how higher education funding breaks down by the source of the funding and the science, technology, and engineering domain where it is spent.

Follow the Money | Spending by Source & Domain →

Scientists & Engineers

Population with college degrees, scientific or engineering degrees, and doctorates in S&E research domains.


All Degrees
Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2009
Total Population over 25 with College Degrees
Location All Degrees S&E Degrees S&E % Margin of
US 56,335,654 20,498,538 36.4% 0.1%
North Carolina 1,632,573 591,311 36.2% 0.6%
Future Scientists
High School Graduation Rates
US Total 80%
North Carolina 80%
Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate 2011-2012, Source US Department of Education
Map of College Degrees by State

Doctorate Degrees
Source: NSF, NIH, USED, USDA, NEH, NASA, Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2012.
Location US Rank Doctorate Degrees Granted % of US Total
US 51,008
North Carolina 10 1,556 0.03%
Doctorate Granting Institutions

Three of the top 50 US doctorate-granting institutions are located in North Carolina. Duke University granted 342 doctorates. NC State University granted 407. UNC Chapel Hill granted 472.


A look at the research focused institutions supporting the State's scientific presence.

Expenditures at North Carolina Higher Education R&D Institutions

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Higher Education Research and Development Survey, FY 2012.
US Rank Institution All R&D Expenditures
  All US Institutions $65,774,524
7 Duke University 1,009,911
11 University North Carolina, Chapel Hill 884,791
52 North Carolina State University 404,225
100 Wake Forest University 204,328
220 North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University 35,103
233 East Carolina University 31,990
252 University North Carolina, Charlotte 25,141
271 University North Carolina, Wilmington 19,722
276 University North Carolina, Greensboro 19,080
290 Fayetteville State University 15,719
315 North Carolina Central University 11,076
411 Elizabeth City State University 4,455
412 Appalachian State University 4,438
459 University North Carolina, Asheville 3,068
532 Winston-Salem State University 1,977
562 Elon University 1,658
590 Davidson College 1,400
512 Shaw University 2,188
551 Western Carolina University 1,811
  Totals —  North Carolina $2,682,081

Follow the Money | How Money Was Allocated to North Carolina Institutions →

Federally Funded R&D Centers

No Federally Funded R&D Centers (FFRDCs) are located in North Carolina.

Federal Research & Development Centers | US Master List →

Federal Laboratories

Source: Federal Lab Consortium

About Scientific Presence

Indicia of Economic Growth, New Corporate Outposts and New Markets
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Scientific presence is a holistic look at science and technology activity in a particular location. Way Better Patents™ combines its own custom patent and innovation analytics with authoritative information on R&D spending, demographic data, STEM education information, economic data, grant data, information on patent owners, and the presence of young companies, the engines of most new job creation, to create each Scientific Presence Profile.
Scientific Presence metrics, when combined with information about new patented inventions, presents a picture of emerging inventive and innovative trends, nascent market development, the depth of scientific activity in a location, the companies establishing outposts in new locations beyond their corporate headquarters, and how many people are participating in these activities.
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