The Research Triangle region’s new hub for biotech and IT training recently opened
on Wake Tech’s RTP Campus in Morrisville.

Elected officials and industry professionals joined college leaders in cutting a symbolic DNA strand of balloons, marking the opening of the new facility. The new facility will bear the name, Lilly Science and Technology Center, in recognition of a $1.1 million contribution from Eli Lilly and Company to support biotech and life sciences programs at the college. It is the largest single corporate contribution in Wake Tech history.


“We’re very excited to open the doors of this cutting-edge facility, and the timing couldn’t be more right,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “Over the next few years, as positions in biotechnology and IT come online at an unprecedented rate, the Lilly Center will be the go-to place for hands-on training and industry collaboration. We’re extremely grateful to Lilly and all of our industry and education partners for their support in bringing this to fruition.”

The three-story Lilly Science and Technology Center includes 23 smart classrooms and state-of-the-art science labs for students in Wake Tech’s new Biotechnology Associate in Applied Science degree as well as those in the fast-track, non-degree BioWork certificate program. It’s also the new home of Wake Tech’s Business Analytics degree program, which draws students, many with advanced degrees, for specialized coursework in analytic theory, data mining and predictive modeling. It was the first program of its type at a community college in the U.S.


Features of the Lilly Science and Technology Center include:

- A Microbiology Lab offering training in gene therapy, genetics, cell culture, DNA manipulation and industrial microbiology, plus industry-approved procedures for working in research and development.

- A Biochemistry Lab for teaching chemical and biochemical testing techniques for raw materials and in-process sampling.

- The Lighthouse Aseptic Suite allowing students to learn aseptic and controlled environment practices in a “real-world” laboratory space – gowning, sterile gloving, and microbial detection as well as cleaning, pipetting, and material transfer.

- The Amgen Co-Laboratory, a unique space where future technologists and industry professionals can collaborate on ideas, new technology, and industry trends.

- The new Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies, where high school students

are dually enrolled in high school and college classes to a get head start on promising careers. Opening Fall 2022.


The $47 million dollar facility was paid for with funds from the 2018 Wake County bond. O’Brien Atkins was the designer and Rodgers Builders was the construction team. Wake Tech is North Carolina’s largest community college, serving about 70,000 students each year. Wake Tech currently has six campuses and two training centers across Wake County, with a seventh campus is under construction in Wendell.


The Wake Tech Foundation continues to welcome companies as part of its partner recognition program called Building Tomorrow’s Talent.