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As of midnight on Monday, North Carolina’s state budget for the 2023-25 fiscal biennium became law. In addition to raises for state employees and teachers, tax cuts and Medicaid expansion, the budget earmarked a substantial sum to continue the Collaboratory’s work funding research in service to the State. In addition to receiving over $67 million in new appropriations, the Collaboratory was tasked with overseeing an additional $140 million allotted to NC Innovation. Read on for additional details on the legislative funding set to shape the Collaboratory’s work over the next two years.

Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower silhouetted against a pink and blue sunset.

Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances Research

$20 million was allocated to the Collaboratory for the management of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) research, including:

  • a voluntary buyback program of AFFF from local fire departments across the state;
  • evaluation of disposal and destruction technologies of PFAS;
  • a human exposure study of firefighters and emergency responders; and,
  • development of a lab space at NCSU for testing of PFAS-resistant textiles.

The Collaboratory received an additional $8 million for PFAS research with a priority for funding a human exposure study and an additional $4 million for water-related research for emerging compounds, water quality improvements and other discretionary research.

Next-Generation Energy Research and Development

The Collaboratory received $15 million to conduct research in the energy sector and develop academic research partnerships with North Carolina businesses working in the next-generation energy field. The Collaboratory is charged with leveraging those partnerships to perform research and development on next-generation energy technologies.

Opioid Abatement Research

$10.7 million was appropriated to the Collaboratory for grants available on a competitive basis across the UNC System for opioid abatement research and development projects.

Recovery Courts Study

The Collaboratory received $300,000 to conduct a study of existing, judicially managed accountability and recovery courts (JMARCs), including drug treatment courts. A final report is due October 1, 2024.

Artificial Intelligence Study

$3.5 million was provided for the Collaboratory to study the use of artificial intelligence in improving non-confidential patient information.

Digital Engineering Projects

The Collaboratory will receive $4 million over the biennium to support grants across the UNC System focused on digital engineering.

Endometriosis Study

The Collaboratory was allocated $1.5 million to conduct a study on endometriosis.

Research Grant for Historically Minority Serving Institutions

The Collaboratory will receive $3 million in total, $1.5 annually, for a research grant program for institutions in the UNC system identified as historically minority-serving. The institutions include Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Pembroke and Winston-Salem State University.

FerryMon and ModMon Programs

Over the biennium, the ongoing FerryMon and ModMon programs will receive $660,000 to continue the monitoring and assessment of water quality and environmental conditions in the nation’s second-largest estuary, the Albemarle-Pamlico, and North Carolina’s most important fisheries and recreation resource through a ferry-based monitoring system.

NC Innovation Funds Management

The Collaboratory is responsible for grants management of the $140 million appropriated to NC Innovation project funds during the biennium.

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