$1.5 million grant will launch autonomous systems center
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that a $1.5 million grant from the Virginia Research Investment Fund will help launch the Commonwealth Center of Innovation for Autonomous Systems, a collaborative research center led by Virginia Tech with Old Dominion University.
The center has lined up $2.2 million in matching funds. Companies that will be collaborating with it include Atlas-NA; Burton-LeRoy; Cambrian Design and Development; Procomm Aviation; Sanchez Engineering Services; SimIS; Textron; and UAVPro.
“Virginia’s colleges and universities enjoy a strong record of cutting-edge research, and we are proud to support the development of new technologies with promising commercial prospects, especially in the area of unmanned autonomous systems,” Northam said in a statement released Wednesday. “Innovative projects and public-private partnerships like these will help bolster the commonwealth’s leading position in the unmanned autonomous systems industry, advance the application of these technologies and reinforce our continued work to expand and diversify the commonwealth’s economy.”
The grant was awarded by the Virginia Research Investment Committee, a body created by the Virginia General Assembly to award research grants to public universities and promote collaborative academic research projects.
“The Virginia Research Investment Committee is excited to support unmanned systems research in Virginia,” said Peter Blake, director of the State Council of Higher Education and chair of the Virginia Research Investment Committee. “The Center for Autonomous Systems will lead to new product development for first responders, infrastructure inspection, maritime systems and more.”