• 45°

Catawba and N.C. Research Campus launch business development partnership

Students

 

Smethurst

Brown

Beaty

Thompson

Reyes

Taylor

Humphries

SALISBURY — A Catawba College information systems class is creating a searchable database to help the Kannapolis-based North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) and the scientists at its eight university research centers target their business development efforts to companies in need of nutrition research.

The students, all from Catawba’s Ketner School of Business, will spend their spring semester on the task. They are enrolled in Dr. Pamela Thompson’s information systems planning and project management class, and will work in tandem with NCRC’s Business Development Director Chris Ervin as they develop the database and dashboard.

Ervin, himself a 1983 Catawba alumnus from Catawba’s Ketner School of Business, looked to his alma mater to tap students worthy of the task.

“In its simplest form, the partnership merges academic learning with industry application,” Ervin commented. “The Catawba students are being provided a real life experience that will improve their marketability while fulfilling a core business need of the NCRC.”

When phase one of the project is completed at the end of April, it will provide those on the Kannapolis campus with a deeper understanding of the nutrition research landscape and the companies that are in the space that may be interested in partnering with the scientists located on the NCRC. Based on Catawba students output, NCRC will build and refine their marketing plan to drive research dollars and product commercialization.

“The database will give us insights into the corporations that want to invest in nutrition research,” said Mark Spitzer, vice president of Castle & Cooke North Carolina Operations at the NCRC. He added, “Catawba will be part of a five-tiered process for the NCRC Development Recruitment Process.”

Catawba students involved in the database development include Rodney Beaty, Russell Brown, Austin Humphries, Crystal Reyes, Brad Smethurst, Jordan Taylor and Zackary Thompson.

“It’s not just one class doing a project,” explained Catawba Dean of the Ketner School of Business Jay Abraham. “They’re getting something started that will build the foundation for a three-to-five year continuous improvement plan. The database will be built upon year after year.”

Eventually, another group of Catawba marketing students will work with the team at NCRC to develop collateral materials that will be used to market the science, equipment and expertise available at the Kannapolis campus.

For now, the Catawba students see the database project, which will be cloud-hosted for easy access and collaboration, as an opportunity. They will utilize Zoho Project as their project management tool.

“It’s a lot better than doing something out of the book,” explained student Jordan Taylor. “We get something to do in the real world.”

Dr. Thompson will be guiding the students through the formal planning and implementation process for the database which will include both traditional and agile planning methodologies.

The students formally outlined the scope of the project and presented it to the NCRC team in a Feb. 24 meeting: “Our team will conduct research that results in the development of a database with the purpose of documenting the competitive set of research institutes and centers in the nutrition industry.“

And the completed database will be anything but static, according to Catawba student Rusty Brown. It will evolve and change over time based on changes in the marketplace and the research. New data can be entered, new relationships indicated between entities, with important milestones noted in the database’s calendaring feature.

As outlined in the Feb. 24 meeting, planned deliverables from the Catawba class include: a business case; a charter; a team contract; a scope statement; a schedule; a cost baseline; status reports; presentation of final project; a final project report; and a lessons-learned report.

For more information on NCRC, visit www.ncresearchcampus.net.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras