Leadership, Partnerships, and Networks: Navigating 50 Years of Dynamic Growth in the Research Triangle Park
Bowditch, N. H., Budihardjo Weigant, S., & Van Kirk, J. (2009, June). Leadership, Partnerships, and Networks: Navigating 50 Years of Dynamic Growth in the Research Triangle Park. Presented at IASP World Conference on Science and Technology Parks (2009), RTP, NC.
In 50 years, the Research Triangle Park (RTP) region of North Carolina transformed from an economically depressed area1 into one known internationally for its economic dynamism and vibrant innovation. Founded in 1959, through a dynamic partnership between government, university, and business leaders, RTP continues to serve as a model for research, innovation, and economic development.
Learning from RTP’s success, RTI International (RTI) has blended the lessons from RTP into an economic development approach to support break-through economies at a sub-national level across the world. This technical approach is not meant to replicate RTP, but to build essential characteristics of RTP into other regions, using their unique endowments to create vibrant and resilient economic environments.
This paper explores the characteristics and strategies that have made RTP dynamic over a sustained period of time, extracts lessons from that sustained dynamism, and briefly describes that technical approach to foster the same dynamism in other regions internationally.