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News Releases

New strategic roadmap designed to help spur the growth of Virginia's innovation economy

Dec 4, 2019, 10:28 AM by Laura Osberger


December 3, 2019

Contact: Laura Osberger

RICHMOND—As part of a statutory requirement related to the Commonwealth’s research activities, the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) developed and the Virginia Research Investment Committee (VRIC) approved the “Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap,” a coordinated and concerted effort to fortify Virginia’s innovation economy over the next three years. 

The roadmap identifies and focuses collaboration around sectors that offer the most promise for growing Virginia’s innovation economy, specifically in the areas of Life and Health Sciences; Autonomous Systems; Space and Satellites; Agricultural and Environmental Technologies; Cybersecurity; and Data Science and Analytics.

“The Roadmap is a comprehensive path to enhance collaboration among higher education, private sector industries and economic development,” said Peter Blake, SCHEV director and VRIC chair. “It positions the Commonwealth and its resources to grow Virginia’s innovation economy in key areas.”

Efforts to develop the Roadmap began in 2018 and included consultation with a panel of independent experts, wide-reaching stakeholder engagement and analysis of state, regional and university data.

“Virginia’s private sector industries and higher education institutions serve as significant catalysts for innovation and economic growth in the Commonwealth,” said expert panelist, Dr. David Bowles, the newly appointed executive director of the Virginia Institute for Spaceflight and Autonomy at Old Dominion University and the former director of the NASA Langley Research Center.

The Roadmap is one of several major accomplishments in 2019 for VRIC, which also included approval of two research grants from the Virginia Research Investment Fund (VRIF), totaling $3 million (with more than $4 million in matching funds); allocations for the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative; and calls for proposals for two additional VRIF grant competitions. The VRIC 2019 Annual Report highlights these activities.

In 2017, statutory changes to advance the Commonwealth’s academic research activities and to foster collaboration led to the formation of VRIC. Those changes also gave SCHEV the authority to development the Roadmap. The Roadmap must be developed or updated every three years.

For more details, please see the Roadmap document and the VRIC 2019 Annual Report.

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The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030. For more on The Virginia Plan, please visit

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