About The Office of Economic Development

The Office of Economic Development (OED) provides important leadership for Virginia Tech and the Commonwealth of Virginia in areas of economic development related to technology, talent, entrepreneurship, and developing the capacity of communities and the university to support all of these activities.  In FY 2014 that included contributions to the growing field of unmanned systems technology, with OED producing an economic and policy framework for the state of Virginia in collaboration with the College of Engineering and Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Science.  The Office further supported Virginia’s winning bid, led by Virginia Tech, for one of six federally certified unmanned aerial systems test sites and is working closely with site management on industry and government outreach. OED continues to provide skills maps for regions around Virginia, helping industry, education, and government to better meet each other’s needs and open more opportunities for individuals. These projects for Virginia regions have received national recognition as an innovative approach to the confusion created by rapid technological and economic changes such as those taking place in Virginia’s Coalfields, which are experiencing dramatic layoffs. Participation with the College of Engineering in the National Science Foundation supported DC I-Corps continues OED’s role in strengthening connections between Virginia Tech’s main campus and strategically important regions of Virginia. Specifically the office was involved in developing a new program cohort in Roanoke-Blacksburg, and engaging new partner schools in an expansion to Hampton Roads.  

Over the course of the year OED also provided input to the work of the university’s Innovation Ecosystem Review Committee and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Innovation Network, important partnerships building internal and external capacity to bring university technology to the commercial marketplace. These economic engagement activities were connected in work by the OED during FY 14, along with the Office of the Vice President for Research and University Relations, to submit an application to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for recognition of Virginia Tech as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity university. This award, received in July of 2014, provides both an atlas of Virginia Tech’s extensive economic engagement activities, along with a roadmap to extend and strengthen them.      

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Virginia Tech students with Constructions, Retrofitting, and Energy-Efficiency Assessments Training and Employment Systems learn air sealing and insulation techniques at the New River Center for Energy Research and Training.

$10 million promotes jobs for workers, new life for companies

Western Virginia, hard hit by job losses in fading industries including tobacco and textiles, has struggled along with the rest of the country during the recent economic recession. Thanks to Virginia Tech and grants from the federal government, some $10 million in projects aimed at bolstering the ailing region have shored up companies and retrained workers...read more here.