RTI History

At the Heart of the Research Triangle Park

In 1958, the idea of Research Triangle Park (RTP) was born with the guidance and support of government, education, and business in North Carolina. Located in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, the Research Triangle is defined by outstanding universities in the Triangle's three cities: North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University and North Carolina Central University in Durham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Origins and Growth

As RTP expanded and prospered after its inception, so did RTI. Growing from a handful of scientists in central North Carolina in 1959 to a staff of more than 3,700 in more than 75 countries today, RTI is now one of the world’s leading independent, nonprofit research and development organizations.

Our activities both mirror and support national priorities and policies as well as diverse commercial, industrial, and academic endeavors. For instance, as public and government interest in environmental protection grew in the 1960s, so did related programs at RTI, building on our expertise in statistical, physical, and life sciences.

As our mission affirms, we are dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice through cutting-edge study and analysis in health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, international development, economic and social policy, energy and the environment, and laboratory and chemistry services.

We are proud of our scientific stature and our reputation for innovation. By continuing to conduct impartial, reliable, multidisciplinary research and by helping to develop and broker new technologies for our clients, we seek to be the world's preferred resource for turning knowledge into practice.

Impact on a Changing World

For more than five decades, from our founding in late 1958 through our 50th anniversary celebration and beyond, we have conducted thousands of projects for hundreds of government and private-sector clients around the world. You can read about this work and other aspects of our history in Impact on a Changing World, the book we produced to commemorate 50 years of improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.

Click the cover image to read Impact on a Changing World on screen (content is fully searchable) or download the PDF.