Today, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise director Joseph DeSimone visited Wilmington, NC to explore potential partnerships between MARBIONC, UNC-Wilmington and the Kenan Institute.
Dr. DeSimone met with several key people involved at MARBIONC and UNC-Wilmington including Dr. Daniel Baden, Dr. Jeffery Wright, Brigadier General David Grange (Ret.), Brian McMerty, Steven Fontana, Steve Pickard and Leeanne Bruin.
Baden, Wright, Fontana and Bruin all work for MARBIONC which is a program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus whose focus is to bring new marine biotechnology products to the marketplace. Grange, President of Osprey Global Solutions also serves as a consultant for MARBIONC while Pickard serves as Director for Real Estate Development at UNC-Wilmington.
In 2009 UNC-Wilmington’s Center for Marine Science was one of four institutions awarded funding by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, UNC-Wilmington received a $15 million matching gift to build its MARBIONC building.
One MARBIONC research focus is Mariculture, which is a specific branch of aquaculture focusing on the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products. Another focus area is Chemical/Molecular Diversity which has the goal of enhancing the laboratory's ability to produce compounds with biological activity and make them available to researchers interested in using them in their studies.
MARBIONC’s mission to ‘stimulate economic development in North Carolina through the discovery, development and marketing of new products and technologies derived from living organisms found in the sea’ makes it a logical partner to the Kenan Institute which according to DeSimone is a place that promotes an applied research agenda that will ultimately have an economic impact and be of benefit to society.