Testing Services Agreements (TSA) are contracts that offer external firms and agencies the opportunity to capitalize on the occasional unused capacity of specialized services and facilities of the University. These services and facilities include but are not limited to panels of trained subject-area experts, machine shops, specialized scientific and analytic instrumentation. These services are driven by protocols and specifications established by external firms and contain no experimental design or intellectual capital beyond that needed to construct a bid/quote and arrange appropriate resources to complete the directed work. These activities provide excellent practicum opportunities for students, technical staff and on occasion the faculty themselves and as such are not only an incredibly important public service and economic driver for the State of North Carolina, they are also expansive of the educational and research mission of the institution.
Services Agreements also create enormous local and regional economic impact. By allocating a certain amount of specialized service and facility capacity for external contracting, business is attracted to the area. As new industry develops within the local and regional area, specialized services and facilities demanded by those industries naturally proliferate, lessening the reliance on the University’s capacity in these areas and establishing an environment for private enterprise to develop in order to meet viable demand for these services.