Five North Carolina communities recently were selected to participate in InnovateNC, a two-year effort to boost the economy through innovation.

NC State University’s Institute of Emerging Issues selected Asheville, Greensboro, Wilmington/Coastal Carolina, Pembroke and Wilson out of 18 applicants to participate in the initiative.

Applicants submitted proposals to show how they could contribute to the effort and how they are currently supporting economic growth through innovation.

The collaboration will focus on developing programs to boost the economy and share those programs to other communities in the state.

The five communities hope to grow different sectors of their cities. Some of those sectors are: environmental and climate science; population diversity; regional entrepreneurialism; local entrepreneurialism; marine and life science.

InnovateNC partners include NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues and College of Design; Forward Impact; the UNC System; Duke University‚Äôs Sanford School of Public Policy; UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise and Department of Public Policy; RTI International; UNC-TV; the Council for Entrepreneurial Development; the Research Triangle Foundation; and the NC Board of Science, Technology & Innovation.

The project launch is supported by a grant from the Kenan Creative Collaboratory, an initiative of the four Kenan Institutes.