Download the full Tour report.


The Research Triangle Park started out as a bold idea, a vision from North Carolina’s leaders for the future of a struggling state.

Over the last fifty years, the businesses, universities, and civic leaders who believed in RTP overcame daunting obstacles to make North Carolina a global leader. Today, RTP is home to more than 170 companies that employ more than 40,000 people. Its success helps improve access to education and jobs, creating opportunities for people across North Carolina to improve their quality of life. But our state faces new challenges. Rising international competition and a changing economy threaten to once again leave North Carolina businesses and workers behind. Against this backdrop, RTP needs to ReConnect with North Carolina
so we can ReImagine our future — and ultimately ReDevelop the Park to lead North Carolina in the innovation economy.

The Pathways to Opportunity tour was RTP’s first step
toward ReConnecting with the state it serves.

On the tour, we found citizens and leaders collaborating on innovative programs to ReDevelop their communities. We also found a state eager to partner with RTP to ReImagine our future. In Asheville, for example, leaders cautioned us: “Don’t think small.”

“RTP is our connection to the world. You are better positioned than anyone else to help us leverage the excitement in our region to become successful with businesses, leaders, and media from around the world.”

This year, we will act on the ideas we heard and the expectations North Carolina has for RTP.

Together with partners in business, academia, and government, we will ReDevelop the Park to be an innovation economy leader — and the partner North Carolina needs:


We will bring leaders together from around the state in economic development meetings that fosters collaboration and innovation.


We will create an open, online network that shares information and invites conversation, connecting our community to work together for North Carolina.


The Park will foster a community for innovation that shares new ideas and inspires its partners — helping all of North Carolina build pathways to opportunity.

On our trip across the state, RTP ReConnected with passionate, generous people working hard for their future and the futures of their communities. We’re grateful to all the people who made the tour happen, and to our hosts who inspired us with their innovative and successful work to ReImagine their futures.

We look forward to continuing to ReConnect with North Carolina in the coming months as we work together to ReDevelop RTP. We hope all of North Carolina will join us in responding to the call we heard in Asheville and every community we visited: “Go big. Think big. Do big things. We need that kind of spirit now.”

Read more about the Pathways to Opportunity tour.