Industry Spotlight: Life Sciences

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The life sciences industry is alive and thriving in North Carolina. North Carolina’s life sciences workforce is 66,500 people strong, which is 55% higher than the national average. The state is also home to the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast, with 474,000 people, and one of the strongest pools of STEM-educated worker in the nation.

These talent pools are supported by North Carolina’s world-class education system of 52 public and private colleges and universities, 11 historically Black colleges and universities, and the third largest community college system in the nation. Our university system includes three Tier-1 research universities – Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University – and confers more than 37,000 STEM degrees each year. Our community college system provides workforce development training and advanced certificates such as the BioWork Certificate, which is a standardized curriculum that prepares students for process technician careers.

North Carolina has a bright future in the life sciences industry, but it also has an impressive past. Since the 1950s, North Carolina has been a leader in the life sciences industry, beginning in the Research Triangle Park (RTP). With more than 300 agricultural, life science, and R&D facilities, companies, and organizations, RTP is the largest research park in North America. Since then, our life sciences presence has extended beyond RTP in clusters spread across the state, including the biopharma crescent which covers Johnston, Pitt, and Wilson Counties, which is home to the manufacturing supply chain which includes pill pressing and packaging for bottles and injectables. 

North Carolina’s life sciences industry is robust, encompassing a wide variety of disciplines. Companies like 
Eli Lilly and Company, FUJIFILM Diosynth, and Thermo Fisher Scientific join the more than 800 life science companies in the state employing approximately 75,000 highly skilled workers. With its strong research, development, and manufacturing foundation, North Carolina has established itself as an epicenter for biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and related fields and will continue to be at the helm on innovation for decades to come.

North Carolina Tax and Incentives

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Sweeping tax reforms over the past ten years have accelerated the state’s ability to support flourishing businesses. North Carolina has the 3rd best effective tax rate for new businesses and the 5th best for mature ones. Plus, the 2.5% tax rate will drop to 0% by 2030. Read all about it in the KPMG and Tax Foundation study and Tax and Incentive Overview.

Project Announcements

Dai Nippon Printing

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), a lithium-ion battery pouch manufacturer, will create 352 new jobs in Davidson County. The company will invest $233 million to build its first U.S. advanced manufacturing facility in the City of Linwood.

Governor Cooper and EDPNC CEO Christopher Chung met with DNP Executives on his economic development trip to Tokyo in October. The Governor discussed the growing clean energy sector in North Carolina and encouraged DNP to choose Davidson County.

“My meeting with DNP in Tokyo last month was productive and I’m grateful they are building their EV battery pouch manufacturing facility in North Carolina which is yet another sign of our growing clean energy economy,” said Governor Cooper. “We welcome them to Davidson County where we know they will find a world-class workforce and an excellent quality of life to support their new operation.”

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Forge Nano

Forge Nano, Inc., a leading materials science company that enables peak performance products through atomic-level surface engineering, intends to launch a new lithium-ion battery business, called Forge Battery, in Wake County. The company and its investors plan for an initial investment of more than $165 million to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Morrisville bringing hundreds of high-paying clean energy jobs to the state. Forge Battery expects the facility to be operational in 2026.

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DEHN Inc., an international electrical engineering and manufacturing company, has selected Iredell County as the location for its new United States headquarters operation, creating 195 jobs. The company will invest $38.6 million into the project, which will bring production, research, and training capabilities to the headquarters site, which will be located in Mooresville.


HEYCO-Werk USA Inc., a plastics injection molder for the automotive industry, will create 34 new jobs in Gaston County. The company will invest more than $12.75 million to build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Gaston County. Manufacturing automotive products for all BMW SUV models worldwide, this expansion to a second location in North Carolina will help meet the growing needs of BMW and other European car manufacturers in North America. Offering room for future expansion, the new 10-acre site at Apple Creek Corporate Center will include a 65,000-square-foot state-of-the-art production facility and show room for high-end injection molding.

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Kyowa Kirin


Kyowa Kirin, a Japanese Global Specialty Pharmaceutical company, has selected Lee County as the location for its new pharmaceutical manufacturing complex, creating 102 new jobs. The company will invest $200 million in the new complex in Sanford which will serve as a Center of Excellence to support the manufacturing of biologic products for targeted clinical and commercial use, expand the company’s global footprint, create more resilient and efficient supply lines, and support the training and development of Kyowa Kirin’s global manufacturing workforce.

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Fujihatsu & Toyota Battery Components

Fujihatsu & Toyotsu Battery Components, North Carolina LLC (FTBC), a new partnership between Fujihatsu Tech America, Inc. and Toyota Tsusho America, Inc., announced it will create 133 new jobs as it locates a new electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facility in Liberty, North Carolina. FTBC is investing $60 million in the project which will manufacture and sell prismatic aluminum cell cases and cell covers with discharge valves to meet the increasing demand for automotive and EV batteries. This new facility will support Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina.

Are you considering North Carolina for an FDI opportunity?

Contact our Business Development team to get started!

Upcoming Events

International Battery Seminar

March 12-15

Orlando, FL


September 4-6

Taipei, Taiwan

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