What does a data center have to do with the mission of transforming human health, nutrition and agriculture to prevent and treat disease? According to Clyde Higgs and Margie Bukowski — everything.
Higgs, the NCRC’s vice president of business development, and Bukowski, president and CEO of Cabarrus Economic Development, worked for over a year on a deal with DataChambers. DataChambers, a North State Communications company headquartered in Winston-Salem, specializes in information technology services such as hosted and cloud-based infrastructure solutions, around-the-clock network management, data backup and business continuity solutions.
The company will join the NCRC in 2014 after a 50,000-square-foot data center is constructed on campus. DataChambers joins five corporate, two healthcare and nine academic partners already at the NCRC. The company’s presence will strengthen the campus’ computational infrastructure, which is anchored by the “big data” of bioinformatics at the David H. Murdock Research Institute and the UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics Research Services Division.
From biology to marketing and every business in between, “big data” is changing how business is done. Just over a decade ago, The Economist reported, it took 10 years to decode the human genome and now it can be done in a week. Megabytes are a measurement of the past now that data created annually via social media is measured in zettabytes. That means that computational power and the ability to manage, store and secure data is at the foundation of scientific and business success. The proliferation of data is creating an industry that Wikibon.org, an open community for business and IT projects, will be worth $50 billion by 2017.
“Underlying every industry is the need to understand and use information,” commented Bukowski. “That’s why the Cabarrus EDC and the NCRC worked to attract DataChambers. We’re building the economy of the future. We need new discoveries from the NCRC, and services of companies like DataChambers to make that happen.”
With strengths in the financial, healthcare, life sciences, aerospace and IT industries, “big data” is emerging as a new sector in Charlotte’s economy too. “We feel that DataChambers is critical to the growth of the campus,” said Higgs. “They bring services that are needed in every corner of the Charlotte region. To be part of broadening business opportunities for so many is really a testament to what an economic driver the NCRC is becoming.”