Durham, NC - 7/12/2023

CNBC Features NCInnovation in “Best State for Business” Coverage

CNBC: “The state has a long record of innovation, but not the best track record of capitalizing on it”

ECU researcher: “If we can’t find [support] here, we’ll have to move to a place that really understands and nurtures innovation”

Durham, NC – CNBC yesterday named North Carolina its Best State for Business for the second consecutive year.

As part of its coverage, the outlet ran a national segment featuring NCInnovation. Watch the segment at this link or by clicking the video below.

The story centers on Dr. Rukiyah Van Dross, a cancer researcher at ECU.

Dr. Van Dross’s cancer therapeutic has proven effective in controlled lab settings. To advance to FDA analyses and potential human trials, Dr. Van Dross must scale up production of the therapeutic, an expensive proposition.

Dr. Van Dross is now transitioning from the academic phase of her research to the commercial phase – she’s going from the “R” for research to the “D” for development.

It’s in this phase, the final leg of the R&D sequence or the “valley of death,” that commercialization challenges exist, and it’s this phase that NCInnovation will target.

Dr. Van Dross said to CNBC, “If we can’t find [support] here, we’ll have to move to a place that really understands and nurtures innovation.”

Read more about Dr. Van Dross’s case study on NCInnovation’s website.

NCInnovation exists to help commercialize the applied research outputs at North Carolina’s universities, especially those outside the Triangle. Doing so will help create more companies and jobs in rural areas. It’s a rural economic development initiative centered on our world-class university system.

NCInnovation is 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation focused intensely on accelerating commercialized innovation from North Carolina’s universities. NCInnovation deploys funding, mentors, and support services so that North Carolina university proofs-of-concept turn into companies and create jobs that remain in North Carolina. Learn more at