RTI uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By clicking “accept” on this website, you opt in and you agree to the use of cookies. If you would like to know more about how RTI uses cookies and how to manage them please view our Privacy Policy here. You can “opt out” or change your mind by visiting: http://optout.aboutads.info/. Click “accept” to agree.


$5 Million Forethought Challenge Invites Eight Teams to Submit Full Proposals

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute, invited eight teams to submit Full Proposals for the next round of Forethought: The RTI $5M+ Research Collaboration Challenge.  Groups will further develop their teams and ideas and submit their proposals to the University Research Collaboration Committee (URCC) to review by Sept. 8.

“Given robust job growth and the arrival of Apple and Google to the region, there is no better time for a project like Forethought, which incentivizes our top-tier research institutions to deepen their collaborations,” said Dr. Christy Shaffer, URCC chair and RTI Board of Governors member. “We are thrilled to get the opportunity to see how teams flesh out their proposals and explain how their proposals will invest here in the region at this critical juncture in our region’s development.”

The advancing teams emerged from a competitive field of 136 Expressions of Interest and the multilayer review process included substantial input from Duke University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T), North Carolina Central University (NCCU), North Carolina State University (NCSU), and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), as well as RTI International’s Executive Leadership team. The URCC weighed them based on Forethought’s five criteria: Regional Collaboration, Impactful, Innovative, Achievable, and finally Enduring and Nationally Recognizable.

The teams represent the broad strength of North Carolina’s research institutions and bold vision to further develop the region’s edge as a national innovation hub.

“After confronting the challenges of the past year, we are ready to take on the challenges of the future — together,” said Dr. Jacqueline M. Olich, Vice President of University Collaborations at RTI.

The topics of the advancing teams and their principal investigators (PIs) are:

  • Maureen Black, RTI: “North Carolina Consortium to Eliminate Early Childhood Health Disparities”
  • Ebony Boulware, Duke University: “Health Equity Solutions Laboratory: A Multi-modal and Multi-level Platform to Accelerate the Elimination of Health Inequities in North Carolina and Beyond” 
  • Michael Daniele, NCSU: “NC-VIRRAL: An Academic-Industrial Partnership in the Research Triangle to Forge the Next-Generation Biomanufacturing of Gene Therapy Products”
  • Theo Dingemans, UNC-CH: “Center for Water Resources and Health”
  • Eric Ghysels, UNC-CH: “Quantum Future for the Triangle”
  • Nat Moorman, UNC-CH: “READDI: Rapidly Emerging Drug Development Initiative” 
  • Arcot Rajasekar, UNC-CH: “Carolina Exposomics Hub”
  • Jared Woollacott, RTI: “CARDD Lab: Climate Action Research, Development and Deployment: Actual Research on Climate Adaption and Resilience”