North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2015

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Provided By SiemenS 44 N o rt h C a r o l i N a E Co N o m i C D E v E lo p m E N t G u i D E It's improving water distribution, traffc management and communications, too. Much of it is developed and manufac- tured in the state's Triangle region, which includes the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. A Duke University Center on Global- ization, Governance & Competitiveness study counted more than 100 clean-tech businesses here in 2011. Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, an industry booster started by Raleigh-based economic-devel- opment group Research Triangle Partner- ship in 2012, sponsored a follow-up study in 2013. "The total was 169 unique frms and 187 locations," RTCC Program Manager Christa Wagner Vinson says. At that time, 47 companies were working on smart transportation such as traffc lights that manage fow, and 60 were involved with smart-water technology such as valves that automatically close when a leak drops pressure. Many of the companies work in what RTCC Managing Director Lee Anne Nance calls "the smart-grid value chain" — moving power from producer to user. Of the 17 companies working solely on smart grid, a dozen combined to create 4,328 jobs, according to the 2013 study, and of the 19 solely smart-water compa- nies, nine combined for more than $1 billion in revenue. The Triangle's roots in such work reach back 60 years. In 1954, Pittsburgh- based Westinghouse Electric Co. trans- ferred its electric-metering division from New Jersey to Raleigh. A few years later, to increase local job opportunities for UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University and N.C. State University graduates, local govern- ments and developers created the 7,000- acre Research Triangle Park. Its frst major tenant arrived in 1965, when Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp. opened its RTP campus, which remains its largest in the U.S. As is the case for high-technology and biotechnology companies, the region and RTP are supporting a variety of clean-tech companies. It's home to startups such as Durham-based PlotWatt Inc., which uses cloud-based algorithms and smart meters to manage utility bills for customers, and longtime player Raleigh-based Sensus USA Inc., which provides similar services to utilities, as well as Siemens, San Jose, Calif.-based communications giant Cisco Systems Inc. and ABB Inc., a Swiss power-transmission technology and equipment manufacturer. Many have headquarters here, too. Since ABB acquired the Westing- house plant in 1989, its Triangle presence has grown. In 2009, the company moved its North American headquarters from Connecticut to Cary, also in Wake County. "When we grow and expand, we need employees," says Gary Rackliffe, the company's vice president of North American smart-grid initiatives. "Having RTP as a strong region is important — having the universities with the students we can hire when they gradu- ate." Sometimes it happens before they receive a degree, Siemens' O'Hara says. "We're working with N.C. State to bring Siemens Energy develops its smar n Wake County town of Wendell.

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