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Research Triangle Foundation Reps to Visit

WINTERVILLE—Representatives from the Research Triangle Foundation will visit the Pitt Community College campus Tuesday as part of a month-long bus tour to reconnect with North Carolina as they redevelop the state’s Research Triangle Park (RTP).

Just days after unveiling a new RTP master plan, members of the Research Triangle Foundation, which manages RTP, embarked on the “Pathways to Opportunity” bus tour Nov. 13. In addition to re-establishing connections within the Tar Heel State, the tour’s goal was to help foundation members envision how the state can meet the challenges of 21st Century economic competition as they redevelop the RTP.

When the tour concludes at RTP headquarters on Dec. 3, foundation members will have visited more than two dozen locations around the state, including several community colleges and universities.

“We want to reaffirm (RTP’s) founding mission, which is to serve all of North Carolina,” Bob Geolas, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation, said prior to the tour’s start. “We should begin that process by getting around the state, meeting with people and hearing about the challenges and opportunities they face.”

Geolas cited Winston-Salem’s Archie Davis, one of RTP’s original visionaries, as one of his inspirations. “Archie Davis traveled across North Carolina in a little white car,” he said. “He asked people to be part of establishing the RTP as an investment in the state’s future. That investment paid off.

“It’s time to look again at how we can work together for North Carolina’s future – and it’s time we got behind the wheel again.”

The new RTP master plan is intended to give the site a more urban design that will attract a new generation of entrepreneurs and creative employees.

“Companies and employees today want an environment and an experience that encourages collaboration and creativity,” Geolas said. “Our new master plan is designed to do just that.”

In addition to visiting the PCC campus, Tuesday’s tour schedule includes a stop in nearby Washington. From there, the bus moves on to Kinston Wednesday, followed by Wilmington and Fayetteville Thursday, and Pembroke and Pinehurst Friday.

The Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina serves the RTP, a bellwether institution that was once referred to by Gov. Luther Hodges as the “heart and hope of North Carolina.”

Situated centrally among Duke University, N.C. State University and UNC- Chapel Hill, RTP consists of 7,000 acres, 40,000 employees, and more than 170 companies, including Avaya, Cisco, Credit Suisse, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, NetApp, RTI International and Syngenta. RTP is also home to the Park Research Center, an affordable incubation space for entrepreneurs and startups.