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Governor McAuliffe announces $1.4 million in grants from the Virginia Research Investment Fund

by Greg Weatherford | Dec 12, 2017

For immediate release - December 12, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

RICHMOND
— Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that $1.4 million in grants have been awarded from the Virginia Research Investment Fund in its first funding round. The awards will support promising technologies at Virginia’s universities that have strong commercial prospects. The projects have lined up $1.6 million in additional funding as a condition of the grant awards. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) administered the competition and the Virginia Research Investment Committee members made the final decision on the awards.

“Virginia’s colleges and universities serve as our laboratories for new, innovative technologies,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These grants demonstrate how we can strengthen the new Virginia economy by bringing together innovative campus research and creative business ideas. I am proud that we can support this important work at our higher education institutions and further build upon Virginia’s reputation as national leader in research and cutting-edge technology.”

Projects were proposed in the life-science and cybersecurity fields by Virginia institutions of higher education and their partners. Each project was evaluated for its commercial viability by a team of peer reviewers, entrepreneurs, and investors.

The grants, approved yesterday by the Virginia Research Investment Committee, will bring the following inventions closer to market:

  • An artificial pancreas that uses smart phones, insulin pumps and the online cloud to reduce blood-sugar variation in people with diabetes (University of Virginia): $255,855.
  • Two product lines based on patented algorithms that use machine learning to improve the safety and security of wireless communications from cyberattacks (Virginia Tech): $1,181,030.

“The promising proposals approved today are examples of how original research, when brought to life in the marketplace, can help people live better lives,” said Peter Blake, director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and chair of the Virginia Research Investment Committee.

“These grants and commercial products demonstrate the potential of education not only to change lives but to save them,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “We are grateful to the Governor and the General Assembly for their support of the Virginia Research Investment Fund.”

The General Assembly designated $12 million for the research fund and $29 million in bonding authority to support the purchase of research equipment or laboratory renovations associated with researcher-incentive packages and the translation of research into commercial use.

Find more information on the Virginia Research Investment Fund, the Virginia Research Investment Committee and the grants here

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