History

The Research Triangle Region of North Carolina is the area within a 60-mile radius of the Research Triangle Park, one of the oldest and largest research parks in the world, in North Carolina near the mid-point of the U.S. East Coast.

The “Triangle” refers to the three major research universities – Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – that form the core of our innovation ecosystem.

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership, which leads marketing and strategic economic development coordination for the region, first identified cleantech as a priority target in 2009 as part of the region’s economic development strategy. But the seeds of the region’s cleantech cluster were sown in 1954, when Westinghouse Corp. relocated its electricity metering division from New Jersey to Raleigh.

In the decades to come, acquisitions brought to our region energy industry leaders that continue operations today – companies like ABB, Schneider Electric, Sensus and Siemens.

While these global power leaders arrived and built regional operations, world-leading technology and data analytics leaders were being born and locating here as well. They include IBM, one of the first companies to locate in Research Triangle Park, Cisco, EMC, SAS and others.

This unique marriage of hardware and software provided the key building blocks for a cluster of companies capable of creating the intelligent infrastructure required to develop and manage clean, smart products, processes and services.

The breadth, depth and convergence of our region’s intelligent assets has propelled major technological advances in smart energy generation, distribution, management and consumer services, in particular, as well as cross-over areas of smart transportation and smart water.

Today, the region is home to hundreds of companies that cover the value chain in those sectors.

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