Apr 30, 2024 - News

Japanese company invests $1.8M on N.C. State campus center as it expands into 3D printing

Photo: Cesc Maymo/Getty Images

Ricoh, a Japanese printing company expanding into 3D printing, is opening a new center on N.C. State University's Centennial Campus.

Why it matters: Ricoh joins the long list of Japanese companies investing in North Carolina in recent years — a trend recently highlighted by the Japanese prime minister's visit to the Tar Heel State.

Driving the news: Ricoh plans to initially invest $1.8 million in the center, which Carsten Bruhn, the head of Ricoh's U.S. operations, said it will use to partner with faculty on projects and to recruit engineering talent.

  • Bruhn declined to speculate how many people will work at the engineering center, saying it depends on how successful the company is in expanding 3D printing into the health care field and other industries.

State of play: N.C. State's Centennial Campus has long been used by the university and the state to attract businesses to operate near researchers and students.

  • Around 70 companies now have a presence on the campus, home to the school's engineering department, including ABB, Hanesbrands and Live Oak Bank.
  • N.C. State is currently working on expanding Centennial to include more lab and office space as well as residential buildings for workers — though Chancellor Randy Woodson told Axios that economic pressures on commercial real estate have created challenges for the plans.

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