RALEIGH, NC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 25, 2006 -- The impressive research capabilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) area laboratories, along with complementary research conducted at North Carolina State University (NC State) and the University of North Carolina (UNC), were cited in the recent Environmental Partnership Summit as important elements for economic growth in the region.

The unique combination of top research universities, a vital entrepreneurial culture, an extensive EPA presence and strong state government support promises to make environmental technology a valuable opportunity for growing the North Carolina economy.

The summit was facilitated in September by the Intellectual Property (IP) Management Group, under a cooperative agreement with the EPA and in conjunction with UNC and NC State. The IP Management Group is part of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation, based in Fairmont, W.Va.

"Other regions in the country would love to have the resources present at RTP," said Joseph Allen, Vice President and General Manager of the IP Management Group. "Each of the three EPA labs there is producing cutting-edge research that, combined with the outstanding resources of the region's major research universities, will lead to new products to protect the environment and improve the economy."

"This conference was a recognition of the importance of bridging institutions," said Robert McMahan, Ph.D., Senior Science and Technology Advisor to the State of North Carolina and Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology. "We must begin to think differently about the role of universities and research institutions in building regional economies and structure institutional collaborations around them."

The latest in air quality-related research was unveiled by researchers from the EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory, the National Exposure Research Laboratory and the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, and their counterparts at NC State and UNC.

High-level representatives of the EPA stressed the importance of university and industry strategic partnerships to the future of the agency's science and technology initiatives.

Those interested in learning more about partnership opportunities discovered at the summit or who have new ideas for collaboration may contact the IP Management Group's Environmental Technologies Program at 866-483-4764 or etprogram@wvhtf.org.

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Contact Information: CONTACT: Shawn Ramsey Crossroads Public Relations 919-782-3262 or 919-621-0737 Email Contact WEB SITE: http://www.etprogram.org/summit06