The Future of the Research Triangle Park
The Research Triangle Foundation of NC serves the Research Triangle Park, a bellwether institution that was once referred to by Governor Luther Hodges as the “heart and hope of North Carolina.” The RTP contains 7,000 acres, 48,000+ employees, and over 250 companies, including Biogen, Cisco Systems, Credit Suisse, Fidelity Investments, IBM, and RTI International.
Our speaker for March, Mr. Scott Levitan, joined the RTF team in August of 2017 as its new CEO and President. He has over 30 years of experience working in mixed-use development, with an emphasis on university-related research parks. He has directed a number of community transforming projects in Cambridge MA, Atlanta GA, and Baltimore MD, working with Harvard University, Georgia Tech, and Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Levitan holds a master’s degree in urban design from Harvard University, a master’s in conservation studies from the University of York in York, England, and a bachelor’s in architecture from Louisiana State University. He is active in a number of organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, and Association of University Research Parks, where he has served on its Board and taught an annual “BioParks 101” seminar.
As President and CEO, Mr. Levitan has a number of strategic initiatives to insure that the RTP remains relevant to the world as an economic engine for the region. These efforts include:
- Recognizing the evolution of the research model and creating space and an innovation community that can thrive in the Triangle.
- Supporting anchor legacy companies that rely on the original land covenants to continue to flourish.
- Creating a physical environment that supports start-up enterprises and encourages collaboration and community engagement.
- Anticipating the tremendous growth predicted for the region and implementing infrastructure now to direct development responsibly (regional mobility, fiber connectivity, transit-oriented development strategies, RDU competitiveness).
- Expanding the benefits derived from RTP to all citizens in our community.
In his spare time (?), Mr. Levitan and his partner, Patrick Francisco, are renovating a tired, 1960’s ranch on Granville Road, Chapel Hill, hoping to move in sometime in 2018. He is a tireless gardener and is looking forward to a new experience starting his 4th garden in our clay packed dirt.