SCHEV issues ‘roadmap’ for state economic development investment
Areas identified as investment-worthy include autonomous systems; space and satellites; cybersecurity; and data science and analytics.
The Virginia Research Investment Committee has approved the State Council of Higher Education’s Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap, which spells out research areas that will yield the greatest impacts from state investment in economic development with state investment for the next three years, SCHEV announced Wednesday.
The report identifies these research areas as worthy of state investment and institutional focus: life and health sciences; autonomous systems; space and satellites; agricultural and environmental technologies; cybersecurity; and data science and analytics.
SCHEV worked this year with a panel of independent external experts who reviewed quantitative data and qualitative input from public and private stakeholders, SCHEV director VRIC chair Peter Blake reported to the General Assembly on Nov. 1.
The 13-member panel met twice to discuss themes that emerged from SCHEV’s research, analysis and stakeholder input according to the report.
“Virginia’s private sector industries and higher education institutions serve as significant catalysts for innovation and economic growth in the commonwealth,” Dr. David Bowles, panelist and Virginia Institute for Spaceflight and Autonomy executive director, said in a statement.
Stakeholders suggested that measuring progress and tracking metrics such as the percentage of research funding Virginia receives by source; the number and funding amounts of research and commercialization grants received by institutions; and government contracts awarded to Virginia businesses.
“The roadmap is a comprehensive path to enhance collaboration among higher education, private sector industries and economic development,” Peter Blake, SCHEV director and VRIC chair, said in a statement. “It positions the commonwealth and its resources to grow Virginia’s innovation economy in key areas.”
Now that the roadmap has been approved, the next step will be to research and develop the inventory component, according to the report.
VRIC was formed in 2017 to advance Virginia’s academic research activities as a result of statutory changes which gave SCHEV authority to develop the roadmap. Under the statute, the roadmap must be updated every three years.