Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap Profile: VEDP

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP)'s mission is to enhance the quality of life and improve the standard of living for Virginia citizens through new job creation and capital investment, resulting from cultivation of new business investment, fostering international trade growth, and supporting the expansion of existing industries.

VEDP directs its recruitment and outreach resources towards markets it expects will produce strong gains in employment, higher wages, and new capital investment. It works with local and regional partners to identify markets that align with key assets in their regions. By then mapping these markets to regional assets, VEDP is positioned to best meet the needs of the business clients considering Virginia. Virginia's economic diversity allows for a broad range of industry targets upon which to focus resources. VEDP engages with client outreach and project location services with solidly performing companies in market sectors which may not be represented in the following summary.

VEDP's key markets include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics, including plastics and polymers, advanced materials, food processing, machinery and equipment, chemical and fibers, aerospace, automotive, and logistics and distribution services;
  • Security and Services, including the federal security agencies and providers, information technology (inclusive of data centers), cyber security, professional and business services, finance and insurance, corporate headquarters, and management operations; and
  • Science and Research, focusing mainly on R&D, clean and alternative energy, life sciences, nanotechnology, medical applications and devices, other emerging technologies, and healthcare services.

Complementing this market focus, VEDP has, over time, developed a series of initiatives to support its mission in strategic areas. These initiatives have included:

  • The Life Sciences Initiative, which has identified key research themes that will form the core of Virginia's Life Sciences market strategy. VEDP is leading this effort and has engaged with Virginia research universities and the Administration. Although this process remains underway, the stakeholders are working to establish the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC), which is expected to give Virginia a compelling research-based platform from which to foster public/private collaboration and encourage university involvement in the key focus areas. The VBHRC will lead strategic research tracks to include:
    • Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics
    • Point-of-Care Diagnostics
    • Drug Discovery and Delivery
  • The Federal Strategic Initiative, whereby VEDP works with various federal agencies and the government contracting and service provider community to identify strategic and operational needs of the U.S. government, in both defense and non-defense areas. This activity becomes even more critical as Virginia faces key vulnerabilities as the federal government considers significant budgetary cuts.
  • The Distributed Services Initiative, which helps communities/regions generate a value case for moving segments of the information technology industry from high-cost locations to areas where operating costs are lower. This initiative meets local workforce development goals and provides skills development in emerging Virginia regions needing economic diversification, and may represent one strategy in helping to mitigate potential federal budget cut impacts.
  • The Offshore Wind Energy Initiative, which helps position Virginia for significant manufacturing and supply chain operations should offshore wind become a viable energy generation option. Favorable market pricing and appropriate federal actions are necessary preconditions to realize the economic contribution this initiative can provide.
  • Generating support for the Tobacco Commission R&D Centers, which is crucial to development in Southern and Southwestern Virginia. Through a strategic partnership, VEDP implemented a Scientific and Technical Review Panel as part of the vetting process for companies applying for the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Endowment (TICRE)'s R&D grant program funds. VEDP has led the vetting process for seven funding rounds in this partnership.