Research Triangle Park, research, business, medical, and educational complex situated in central North Carolina. It has an area of 6,900 acres (2,795 hectares) and is 8 × 2 mi (13 × 3 km) in size. Named for the triangle formed by Duke Univ. in Durham, the Univ. of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State Univ. in Raleigh, it is one of the largest research complexes in the United States. The park was created in 1959 by leaders from business and academia; by the late 1990s it was home to nearly 140 organizations, more than a hundred of which were related to research and development, and employed about 50,000 people. Companies represented there engage in high-technology research, development, and manufacturing in such areas as the health sciences, pharmaceuticals, computers, optics, and many other for-profit and nonprofit enterprises. Development of the park, which has no residential facilities, has caused surrounding communities to mushroom and has created some local transportation problems.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.