Outside the Box


WRAL TechWire COLUMN: N.C. budget writers target innovative start up and BioTech Center

Posted May 26

By Rick Smith, WRAL TechWire editor

Another budget, another chance to cut money targeting job creators in North Carolina. That's the takeaway from The Skinny's viewpoint.

Budget writers in the North Carolina General Assembly have targeted startups and the N.C. Biotechnology Center for cuts in the near-$23 billion spending plan under debate in Raleigh. But the head of the Commerce Department vows to fight cuts in his department, and the Biotech Center 's "optimistic" it will escape a slashing.

Rival Senate and House plans contain a variety of cuts targeting either biotech or Commerce Department efforts to support startups and to match federal grants that emerging North Carolina companies earn from the federal government.

The Office of Science, Technology & Innovation (OSTI) is on the chopping block in the Senate budget.

And the One North Carolina Small Business Grant Program faces a reduction to $1 million from $3 million in the House plan. The One NC plan matches federal grants awarded to emerging North Carolina companies. The Senate's plan includes ZERO dollars.

"[The House plan] is $2,000,000 less than was appropriated in FY 2017. The Senate budget recommends $0 for the program," a Commerce spokesperson explains. "We won’t know the final outcome until the House and Senate meet in a conference committee."

Read more here


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