Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin, Jr. Dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering, has been appointed to a new state authority to oversee innovation-led development in Virginia.
Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation to establish the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) at a recent ceremony in Staunton, Virginia.
At the event, bill sponsor Del. Mark D. Sickles said the authority would provide a better platform to support technology-based startups. “We need to invest more and grow our own [businesses] in Virginia.”
VIPA, which falls under the purview of the office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, is meant to consolidate and integrate innovation, entrepreneurship, university research commercialization and emergency development programs under one body. It will replace the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority and the Virginia Research Investment Committee.
“Advances in scientific discovery and commercialization by our researchers at VCU’s College of Engineering have earned support from state economic development programs including the Center for Innovative Technology, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative,” Boyan said. “The streamlined Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority will build on these efforts to help entrepreneurs take their ideas and turn them into marketable entities. It is very exciting to see government working together with academia to bring technologies to market so that they benefit humankind. I am honored to be part of this new phase in Virginia's economic growth.
“As you can see in our new Engineering Research Building taking shape right now at the corner of Cary and Belvidere streets, we’re all about public-private partnership and commercializing innovation. We’re building space where businesses can partner with us to translate research into products that improve lives.”