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Charlotte Research Institute Opens Satellite Office in Kannapolis

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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) at UNC Charlotte celebrated the opening of its satellite office on the N.C. Research Campus in downtown Kannapolis on Thursday.

CRI Executive Director Bob Wilhelm said the office, located at 201 West Avenue, would initially be staffed part-time by a variety of representatives from the Institute, including himself, Larry Mays and Catherine Hicks.

"We'll have people cycling through there most days of the week so people in Kannapolis can get to know us and learn about our capacities," he explained. Staff will eventually be hired to run the office full-time.

The N.C. Research Campus is the creation of David Murdock, and it is being designed to become one of the top biotech research centers in the world. The centerpiece of the 350-acre, $1-billion mixed-use development will be the 311,000-square-foot core lab building now under construction and set to open next year. Murdock hopes to attract 100 biotech firms to the campus, which is planned to have 1 million square feet of office space. It is located on the site of the former Pillowtex mill.

UNCC will operate a girls' science high school on the campus, as well as one of four university-run research centers. It will focus on bioinformatics.

Wilhelm said he hopes the satellite office will help strengthen CRI's relationship with the research campus. He noted the creation of the office will help the Institute take advantage of two main opportunities: business/university research partnerships and business engagement. "We want companies looking at the campus to see all the intellectual capital and activities at UNCC as part of the opportunities available," he said.

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