Helping Communities Shine

Whether researching and implementing ways to shape a community's economic development plan or partnering to create ways to put people to work, CREC connects researchers and policymakers with:

     • Data training
     • Custom portfolios that aid regional competitiveness

Project Profile

Evaluation (GMKPI) Framework for NCBiotech and Accelerate NC

North Carolina Biotechnology Center
Start Date: Nov 2022 — End Date: Feb 2023

The Life Sciences Manufacturing Coalition collaborated with experts from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, CREC, to develop an evaluation framework that ensured NCBiotech and key stakeholders were prepared to implement and evaluate projects funded by the Economic Development Administration Build Back Better Regional Challenge. These projects aimed to support innovation and impact, such as job creation, through investments in biotech product development, manufacturing process improvements, training and education, community, and place-based infrastructure. CREC focused primarily on the talent development process and talent-related metrics that could be considered in tracking toward the desired outcome of a robust life science cluster, providing a framework to measure and assess the value of economic cluster activities within a defined 79-county region. CREC engaged key stakeholders to ensure that investments helped to advance the state’s competitive advantage in the life sciences and “accelerate innovation, investment, and job creation statewide” per the NCBiotech mission. The goal was to support investments that extended access to training and employment to fill high-paying jobs with good benefits, preparing the state and the sector for the economic transformation needed to maintain competitiveness.

CREC worked closely with NCBiotech staff, BBBRC program managers, and stakeholders to build a framework for continuous evaluation that identified key indicators that reflected results valued by stakeholders, logically linked the near-term and longer-term outputs and outcomes to potential impacts and connected related initiatives. For example, this included clarifying how goals, metrics, and key performance indicators (GMKPIs) tied to the activities of each of the three Phase 2 initiatives. Building consensus early on helped ensure that initial planning and investment contributed to the longer-term goals of the BBBRC efforts. CREC planned to assist the group in updating and adapting existing frameworks to address new challenges and opportunities, strengthening consensus and commitment to the new GMKPI, and planning for data collection and analysis.

Research & PlanningTechnical Assistance

About the Client

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Life sciences are transforming the world. Vaccines prevent disease. Gene therapies and precision health data cure them. Advances in agriculture feed the planet. Here in North Carolina, NCBiotech catalyzes the many different transformations that are improving the quality of life around the world. We connect companies with university researchers and introduce entrepreneurs to potential funders. […]