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Nearly one hundred and fifty business, government and community leaders from all across Southwest Virginia gathered at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on Thursday, September 24th, to celebrate manufacturing and its contributions to the economy in the region.  At its annual Manufacturer’s Appreciation and Awards Dinner, the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM) reviewed its successful year of promotion of manufacturing as a career and renewed its commitment to continued growth in this all-important sector of Southwest Virginia’s economy.

The Challenge program is designed to improve the use of materials in onshore oil and gas production- reducing trucking in local communities and making energy production more efficient. Their mission is to accelerate the development of more environmentally and economically sustainable energy solutions. 

Twelve states and the District of Columbia are now championing innovation-friendly policies at the highest level according to the 2016 Innovation Scorecard , an annual innovation policy performance index released today by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin are first-time Innovation Champions - top designation - joining repeat champion winners Delaware, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, Utah, Virginia and the District of Columbia.


"SBIR/STTR Funding Intro & Proposal Prep Essentials for NIH, NSF and DOD"


March 22, Blacksburg, VA
March 23, Charlottesville, VA
March 24, Norfolk, VA 

Upcoming SBIR / STTR deadlines include:  

  • April 5 NIH

  • April 14 NIST

  • June 10 NSF

  • June 17 NASA

  • June 22 DOD



The government's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs make over $2.6 billion in high-risk, non-dilutive capital available to innovative small companies annually. Join SBIR/STTR expert, Becky Aistrup of BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting and learn SBIR/STTR program basics, including eligibility requirements, the difference between SBIR and STTR, participating agencies and tips for success. Then focus in on essential information for crafting a competitive proposal to meet the mission and standards of the NIH, NSF and DoD programs. We'll cover the distinguishing features and technology areas addressed by each of the agencies, getting registered so you can submit, preparing proposal components for maximum impact, what reviewers expect, and more. 

For those short on time, or are primarily targeting NIH, there is an option to register for the morning "SBIR/STTR Intro and NIH SBIR Prep" session only. 

Small fees apply to cover lunch and materials fees. 9AM-4:30PM each session. 
REGISTER for Blacksburg session HERE.
REGISTER for Charlottesville session HERE.
REGISTER for Norfolk session HERE. 


Visit CIT for additional information. 

NASA Langley made history with this partnership.
Langley will continue to support the research, development, test and evaluation needed to leverage emergent autonomous technologies to create solutions that will change what flight looks like for the next 100 years!


(April 28, 2016)— The Flirtey drone used to make the first FAA-approved drone delivery in the United States has been accepted into the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, which displays the Space Shuttle Discovery, the SR-71 Blackbird and the first aircraft operated by FedEx.


The six-rotor drone delivered medication to a rural medical clinic in Wise Virginia on July 17, 2015 after the medication was flown to a regional airport by a remotely operated NASA winged aircraft. The carbon fiber and aluminum drone has a delivery system that works by lowering the package in a controlled manner while the drone hovers in place. Built-in safety features include an
automatic return-to-safe-location in case of low battery, low GPS signal or communication loss. Through participation from NASA’s Langley Research Center, Virginia Tech and the Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Flirtey’s delivery showcased the massive commercial potential of drone delivery in the United States and around the world.


- See more at: http://sacd.larc.nasa.gov/2016/04/28/historic-flirtey-drone-donated-to-the-smithsonians-national-air-and-space-museum/#sthash.CQpRURTo.dpuf

Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM), its partners and stakeholders cut the ribbon on a satellite training facility at the Pioneer Center in Duffield.


DUFFIELD, Va. — A few years ago, Rolls-Royce was eyeballing Southwest Virginia and other areas of the Commonwealth to build a new facility to make precision-engineered engine components for some of the world’s most advanced aircraft.

Prince George County south of Richmond won the $170 million project, and a 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facility opened in 2011.


“(Rolls-Royce) looked at us and said ‘You all need to ramp up your training,’” Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, said of one reason why Southwest Virginia lost the project.


Here is the link to the full Times-News article.

Southwest Virginia Economic Forum Held May 12th


WISE, Va. -Urgency, that's the word used today in efforts to re-energize Southwest Virginia's economy.In response to an economic downturn, a forum at UVa-Wise brought resources from government, industry and education to discuss strategies to turn the ship around.Coal was the moneymaker for Southwest Virginia for so long.But with a sharp downturn in that industry, Southwest Virginia is struggling."We need to diversify and have other things. And we have done very well in tourism, culture, and music, all of those rich things from this region. And then we need to move into I believe the tech sector will be our next major foray here in Southwest Virginia."


Here is the link to the full WCYB news story.


Bristol Hearld Courier also covered the event.

MECC is having an information session on May 24th for dislocated Miners and their spouses for their upcoming Power Grant which will offer FREE welding and 3D printing training. 

Here is where you can learn more about the program.

Mountain Empire Community College Plans Free Training for Dislocated Miners

The Southwestern Virginia Technology Council (SWVTC) will present the SWVTC High Tech Awards for 2016 at the Annual Awards Banquet and Gala on Thursday, June 16, at the Higher Education Center on the campus of Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon.     

Click here for the full press release.

Governor McAuliffe Announces New Private Sector Sponsorship for MACH37 Cyber Accelerator - 


RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has agreed to participate as a Platinum Sponsor of the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator program. This significant public-private collaboration will help launch new cybersecurity product companies inside the Commonwealth, further establishing Virginia as the cybersecurity capital of the nation. 

“MACH37’s innovative approach demonstrates that government and the private sector can come together to leverage capital and intellectual assets to create new companies and jobs,” Governor McAuliffe said. “MACH37 plays a vital role in helping expedite the development of cutting edge cybersecurity products and Amazon Web Services will be an excellent asset to the program. Developing the next generation of cybersecurity companies and products is critical in the effort to stay ahead of looming cyber threats and to continue our success building the new Virginia economy.”

Click here for the full press release. 

Governor McAuliffe Announces 500 New Jobs in Wise County 


RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced that Frontier Secure, a division of Frontier Communications Corporation, will locate a customer care center in Wise County. The facility will provide customer and technical support for its clients. Virginia successfully competed against Kansas, Georgia, and South Carolina for the project, which will create up to 500 new jobs. - See more at: https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=15774#sthash.EIUltuk3.dpuf

Click here for the full press release. 

Nearly $1 Million awarded to advance drone technology training in Virginia Colleges


WASHINGTON D.C. (WSLS 10) – Nearly $1 million dollars is heading to Virginia to develop college courses relating to drones.

$899,477 in National Science Foundation funds has been awarded to Old Dominion University to develop and implement the courses on unmanned aircraft systems.

Click here for the full press release. 

Aurora Flight Sciences Expands Operations To Wise County, Virginia


Aurora Flight Sciences will expand its operational testing of the Centaur Optionally Piloted Aircraft system to Lonesome Pine Airport in Wise County, Virginia. 

According to company officials, Aurora aims to continue advancing the Virginia Unmanned Systems Commission's progress toward making the state a leader in the unmanned systems industry, while also establishing Wise County as a research, development and operational hub for unmanned aircraft systems.

Click here for the full article

Israeli solar, wind company makes Wise County overtures


STEPHEN IGO • AUG 17, 2016 AT 6:00 PM



WISE -- Israeli renewable energy company Energix Renewable Energies Ltd., a specialist in solar and wind projects not only in Israel but significant projects in Poland and emerging projects in parts of Africa, offered intrigue and possibilities for a potential solar project in Wise County on Wednesday.

The company is exploring the potential of building a total 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy projects across Virginia, and state and local officials made sure Wise County was included as a potential project site.

Click here for the full Times News article

See Also: Top executives of Israeli-based energy company coming to Wise County

Virginia Tech to spend $75 million toward infrastructure 'destination area,' including drone cage

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech will spend $75 million to develop part of its innovation-focused curriculum, complete with new buildings, additional faculty and initiatives such as a caged drone facility near the school’s Duck Pond.

The new initiative should bring 2,000 students into the school’s so-called “destination area” program by 2022, university officials said Wednesday.

Click here for the full article

Southwest Virginia task force leaders report on plans to boost the economy

WISE, Va. - The Southwest Virginia Economic Forum in Wise is mobilizing task forces to help the economy. The plan is to build on our strengths here.

Task force leaders feel a sense of urgency but they are optimistic. Six task forces formed to jumpstart southwest Virginia's economy met together for the first time. They reported on what their teams have come up with since they were organized in May.

Click here for the full article

CIT Announces SBIR, STTR training programs and workshops.

CIT's Federal Funding Assistance Program identifies and accelerates opportunities for Virginia's small technology businesses to obtain SBIR, STTR and other government contracts. As the leader of SBIR initiatives in Virginia, CIT will provide guidance, direction, training and valuable resources to enhance the competitiveness of your SBIR/STTR proposal strategy.

Upcoming R&D Funding Events for Virginia's Technology Community:

  • Oct. 4 & 5 -- Updates on CIT's Funding Programs

    • FY2017 CRCF Solicitation Details

    • SBIR/STTR Support Program

    • GAP Investment Fund

  • Oct. 4 -- NSF SBIR/STTR Workshop (Herndon)

  • Oct. 5 -- NIH SBIR/STTR Workshop (Richmond)

  • Oct. 19 -- R&D Funding & Resources (Lynchburg)

Click here for the full article

CIT Announces FY2017 Solicitation for Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund
$2.8 million in funding opportunities available for Virginia’s research community

October 4, 2016 (HERNDON, Va.) – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced today the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) Request for Proposals (RFP) for FY2017. The solicitation opens today and Letters of Intent (LOIs) are due by Thursday, November 10th. Award announcements are planned for early June 2017.

Click here for the full article

Scott County's TeleTech now open for business.

WEBER CITY — It was one year ago this month that officials in Scott County announced that TeleTech Holdings Inc., a leading provider of customer experience, engagement and growth solutions, would bring 300 jobs to the county.

Click here for the full article

Just announced. Crutchfield remains the only company in America to have won the  Bizrate Platinum Circle of Excellence Award for all 17 years of its existence.

For the 17th year in a row, Crutchfield has earned Bizrate.com's "Circle of Excellence" Platinum Award for performance and customer service. Of almost 5,000 online retailers in the Bizrate network, Crutchfield stands alone as the only one to win the "Circle of Excellence" Platinum Award for 17 consecutive years.

Click here for the full article

SWVA Economic Forum Set For May 15th



The SWVA Economic Forum engages participants through a shared vision of regional collaboration, growth and innovation for all of Southwest Virginia. The SWVA Economic Forum has become the place for the region to discuss new ideas and work collaboratively to build Southwest Virginia’s future. The theme for this year’s forum is Technology and will feature keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions exploring strategies to integrate disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, automation, artificial intelligence, into the future of work in the rural communities of Southwest Virginia



Click here for the full article