Textiles to technology


Local and state leaders were in Kannapolis Monday to usher in a new era in our community’s history with the dedication of the North Carolina Research Campus

Oct. 20, 2008, will go down as a major, life-altering moment in Kannapolis and Cabarrus County history.

The date will be revered for the opening of the North Carolina Research Campus. The crisp autumn morning will be remembered as the dawn of a new era into nutritional and medical research that will affect millions worldwide.

On the site where Pillowtex closed, creating an economic crisis for Kannapolis, a flower of hope bloomed. 

Research Campus founder David Murdock unveiled the Core Lab and two other buildings housing University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University researchers. 

The promise of scientific and economic advances sit around the corner for the region, which will become known more for technology than textiles. Groundbreaking work and state-of-the-art facilities will attract the brightest minds for high-paying and high-profile jobs.

Nearly all the credit goes to Murdock, the 85-year-old CEO of Dole Food Company and one of the richest people in the world. Murdock has put more than $400 million of his estimated $4.7 billion worth into the 325-acre Research Campus.

In the three years since his vision was cast over a muddy field in the heart of Kannapolis, Murdock has proven countless naysayers wrong, many of whom never believed such a grand vision was achievable.

Murdock’s vision is to unlock the secrets of how nutrition impacts disease. The businessman hopes researchers can make inroads in curing cancer, diabetes and other maladies. 

It is work that will place our community in the worldwide spotlight for years to come, work that will brings jobs, new discoveries and perhaps life-changing cures to Cabarrus County.

Some of the greatest scientific minds will soon call Cabarrus County home, ushering in a new era for the community.

Technology and innovation are our future. They are a future we should embrace with excitement and eager anticipation.

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