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Welcome Home: NC State Plant Sciences Building

Take a tour of the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative’s state-of-the-art headquarters and discover how it will help launch agricultural research—and our state’s economy—into new frontiers.

Exterior of the Plant Sciences Building Play Video
Photo by Justin Kase Conder. Video by Keeshan Ganatra

For more than a decade, experts have been sounding the alarms on an impending food crisis that is slowly but surely playing out. By 2050, the world will need to feed an additional 1.9 billion people on this Earth with roughly 250 million fewer acres of arable farmland lost through development—and do it sustainably with the headwinds of climate and water shifts, emerging crop pests and other challenges along the way.

“The N.C. PSI is a nexus for unbridled innovations in plant sciences.”

NC State is taking on these and other grand challenges for agriculture and society through the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI): a massive research effort that puts experts from across our university’s disciplines—like engineering, bioinformatics and the plant sciences—together in a team-based environment. Growers are closely consulted along the way as we deliver innovations they request and need to improve their business and lives.

But fuel is only part of the equation. An engine housing the latest equipment and resources is needed to help N.C. PSI researchers develop the never-before-seen technologies, crop varieties, management practices and other innovations meant to supercharge the world’s agricultural productivity – and our state’s economy in the process.

This engine and new headquarters for the N.C. PSI is the NC State University Plant Sciences Building, designed by Flad Architects and built by DPR Construction. Much more than brick, steel and concrete, this building houses some of the most advanced research equipment ever produced; a high-speed data network capable of collecting and managing massive amounts of research data from fields across the state; and fully flexible spaces that can adapt to research trends decades into the future. 

Together, the Plant Sciences Building, its equipment, and especially its people are already making North Carolina one of the world’s premier hubs for research and innovation in agriculture.

“The N.C. PSI is a nexus for unbridled innovations in plant sciences,” said Adrian Percy, executive director of N.C. PSI. “By fostering connections with people across disciplines, across colleges and throughout the agriculture community, PSI will deliver extensive impacts to our stakeholders.” 

This fully fueled engine is heating up, so let’s boldly go through some of the building’s more extraordinary spaces to show how N.C. PSI is rocketing the agricultural sciences to a higher orbit of science and innovation – while also paying dividends for our state’s growers, our state’s $90-plus billion agriculture economy, and a range of stakeholders across our state, nation and world.

This concludes our tour of the NC State Plant Sciences Building. We hope you have a better understanding of this new world-class facility—and the people who will power our next-generation research, and improve the quality of life for our stakeholders across the state, nation and world.

We encourage all our stakeholders—including growers, scientists across industry and academia, government, and the general public—to learn and grow with us. There will be many opportunities to engage with N.C PSI and even visit our new building. Come and discover what makes N.C. PSI the leader in plant science innovation after the Plant Sciences Building becomes fully operational in fall 2022.

More from Spring 2022: The Next Frontier is Here

At CALS, there is no final frontier in agriculture, just the next one. The future of agriculture is here and in progress. We harness big data to tackle big challenges like a growing population, increasing urbanization and climate change. We go beyond the field and lab to test new plant varietals in space. We create global collaboration in our research efforts. And that’s not the half of it. Get a glimpse of what we’re up to.

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