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The Governor’s visit to the Marine Sciences Center on Monday included a roundtable discussion about marine biotechnology and new economy business. The gathering included educational leaders, businessmen and politicians. The focus of this discussion was on marine biotechnology and the opportunities it brings when it comes to jobs and the economy.

“We want to play a major role,” said UNCW Chancellor, Rosemary DePaolo. “Not just in broadly marine science, but in the area of marine biotechnology and how to create jobs in southeastern North Carolina in that field.”

That importance of job creation was a big topic during the discussion. Professors pointed out just how the marine field can affect more people than what many may think.

“One in six jobs in the country are directly related to the ocean in some way or another,” said UNCW Marine Science Professor, Jeffrey Wright. “Transportation, fishing, recreational fishing, recreational tourism, conservation and the Navy; all of these things together count for one in six jobs. The economic output of the ocean is greater than the farming output in this country.”

Monday’s discussion also addressed what’s next for marine science here in the Cape Fear. UNCW researchers want to concentrate on food, fuels and pharmaceuticals; three fields just about everyone in the room agreed have a promising future. UNCW plans on reaching out to companies who are involved in those three fields to see if a partnership can be created to enhance research and jobs.

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