NC State Centennial Campus Story of Innovation

Access to Talent and Accelerating Innovation

Access to highly-skilled talent continues to drive corporate decision-making. And, because of the rapid evolution of technology, 


nearly 90 percent of U.S. R&D executives agree they are not able to execute transformational innovation quickly enough. Research universities are uniquely positioned to fill these gaps.

Collaboration Between Academia, Industry and Government

Centennial Campus is NC State University’s award-winning research campus, home to more than 75 corporate, government and nonprofit organizations, along with university colleges, institutes and programs in close proximity to foster innovation. NC State faculty and students work side-by-side with startups, global companies, nonprofits and government agencies. Together, they are better able to glimpse the future and drive development forward in bold, innovative ways.

ncstate-brick-2x2-red-max.pngABB Inc. joined Centennial Campus in 1991 as the campus’s first corporate partner. Today, ABB’s North American headquarters for its Power Grids business, as well as its exclusive North American Corporate Research center and its groundbreaking Smart Grid Center of Excellence are all located here. In addition to supporting the work of NC State researchers and students, including the School of Engineering, ABB is a partner on NC State’s FREEDM Systems Center, PowerAmerica and The Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics. 

Positive Energies, a cleantech company dedicated to sustainable energy infrastructure projects, also works with NC State’s FREEDM Systems Center, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, to improve the power grid.

Pentair delivers solutions to ensure that water around the world is plentiful and safe. The global company continues to tap into the knowledge and expertise of NC State’s research faculty as they expand into new fields.


Solving Global Challenges

ABB is known around the world as a pioneer in the power and automation industries and has led the charge to modern-ize the grid by introducing many innovative smart grid and clean energy technologies and solutions, many of them de-veloped on Centennial Campus. ABB’s long-term partnership with NC State has led to many research and development breakthroughs. With the School of Engineering, ABB has helped shape the curriculum for the 21st century and has hired numerous graduates over the years. ABB currently has about 600 employees on campus, in addition to 260+ employ-ees at its nearby Cary Americas headquarters facility.

Positive Energies’ collaboration with NC State has yielded a modular electric generator as well as educational training deployed across the world. University researchers worked closely with Positive Energies on conception, design and im-plementation of products, including initial testing and advising on where the industry is heading to position the compa-ny for growth.
When connected with world-renowned university aquaculture researchers, Pentair quickly gained the industry knowledge to launch a new marketable product.


About NC State Centennial Campus

Centennial Campus is NC State University’s award-winning research campus. The 1,200-acre scenic envi-ronment is home to more than 75 corporate, govern-ment and nonprofit organizations, along with university colleges, institutes and programs in engineering, tex-tiles, veterinary medicine, education, business and oth-er disciplines in close proximity to foster innovation. The campus also features a championship golf course, 75-acre lake, miles of walking trails, hotel and confer-ence center, and private and student housing communities.


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