Call for action

Call for experts to provide input for growing Virginia economy in domain areas

The primary mission of VASEM to serve as an independent science and technology advisor to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

As part of that mission, VASEM is assisting the Implementation Advisory Team (IAT) of the new Virginia Research Investment Committee (VRIC), to identify individuals with expertise to serve on an economic focus group to shape forthcoming investments. The VRIC is authorized by the Virginia General Assembly as one component of the GO Virginia initiative.

I am writing to request nominations and volunteers to provide high-level feedback from industry leaders to guide potential investments in strategic growth platforms that will grow Virginia’s innovation economy.  Strategic growth areas were identified in a recent Strategic Directions report that assessed the research competencies and innovation activities across industry, universities, and federal labs in Virginia.  These areas include:

  • Cybersecurity- Includes next-generation technologies for protecting integrated computing networks, identity management, risk assessment and cyber-physical security.

  • Data Sciences- Leverages the unique opportunities associated with data centers in Virginia.

  • System of Systems Engineering- Areas include space systems, autonomous vehicle systems (aerial, ground, and underwater) and advanced manufacturing systems.

  • Health Innovation- Forefront areas in the biosciences include digital health, health-tech, precision medicine, and targeted treatment approaches.

Two critical areas for input:
1. How to design “industry-facing” translational research centers focused on fostering existing and start-up company efforts in new product development and commercialization. Industry feedback is a key means of realizing the VRIC legislative mandates to:

  • Promote research and development excellence in Virginia that encourages collaboration between the Commonwealth’s research universities and industries.

  • Advance projects and programs in research, development, and commercialization with high potential for economic development and high-paying job creation in Virginia.

  • Position the state as a national leader in innovation-led development.

2. Industry insights in each of the strategic growth platforms and competitive needs to advance innovation and growth, specific domain areas where Virginia can be a global leader, and ways to enhance and create more synergy and value in university collaborations.

This intelligence gathering from industry will be used to develop a detailed implementation prospectus that will define the tactics, actions and development milestones for the Commonwealth.  The information will also be used to set performance goals and metrics.

Currently, the Virginia Research Investment Fund has an $8 million annual budget to invest in targeted projects and programs in research, development and commercialization, but through this implementation planning process, additional state funds may be sought.

Action:  If you would like to participate or have suggestions for industry leaders in the areas articulated above, please send name, contact information, and domain of strategic growth area expertise to Andrew Densmore, Executive Director, Virginia Academy of Science Engineering and Medicine (540-598-7693).  Self-nominations are welcome.

Deadline is Monday, July 23, 2018

Yours in service,

Dr. Patricia “Trish” Dove
President, Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Member, National Academy of Sciences
University Distinguished Professor and C.P. Miles Professor of Science
Virginia Tech