For the Record - Southwest Virginia

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The Department of Agriculture awarded a five-year, $3.8 million contract to Virginia Tech to improve the quality of grape crops and wine production in the eastern United States. The project aims to refine and encourage adoption of best practices to produce consistently high quality and cost-competitive grapes. (News release)

Imprint , a Roanoke ad agency, will be the lead agency to promote tourism in the Alleghany Highlands. Imprint will develop a website, visitors guide and advertising campaign, which will launch in the spring. (The Roanoke Times)

HCA Inc.  renamed four Southwest Virginia hospitals and other outpatient facilities to create a united brand image for its LewisGale Regional Health System. Studies found the HCA centers operated under a variety of different names with no unified identity. The affected hospitals were Lewis-Gale Medical Center, Alleghany Regional Hospital, Montgomery Regional Hospital and Pulaski Community Hospital. (The Roanoke Times)

Maxx Performance , a Chester, N.Y.-based manufacturer of coatings to encapsulate food ingredients, will invest $700,000 to launch a research and manufacturing operation in Roanoke. Plans call for the creation of 15 to 20 jobs over three years. (The Roanoke Times)

Virginia Tech ranked 44th out of 697 academic centers for research spending in the latest study by the National Science Foundation, rising two spots in the survey. Tech spent almost $400 million in the latest fiscal year 2009, compared with $269 million in 2004.  (News release)

Wythe County  received $3 million from Virginia for site improvements at Progress Park, a 1,210-acre industrial park located near the junction of Interstates 81 and 77. (Danville Register & Bee)

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