Connecting companies and faculty to grow jobs and opportunity

The Office of Economic Development (OED) serves as a gateway for companies looking to connect with the intellectual capital of Virginia Tech. We provide economic development agencies and business assistance programs with help in identifying the right resources to meet the needs of companies. We further assist companies who directly engage faculty or students to solve problems or want to build teams with faculty to jointly pursue opportunities. We are often able to bring all these partners together in building collaborations among companies, communities, or agencies who seek to innovate and grow.

Key Partners

Among our partners, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership provides companies assistance in site selection and international trade.  The Virginia Department of Business Assistance provides one-stop-service for technical assistance related to business formation, access to capital, and workforce development. Regional and local economic development agencies across Virginia provide a closer look for companies looking for help in particular communities.  Virginia University-Based Economic Development group a network of offices like OED from universities across Virginia meets regularly with economic development agencies to provide better connection for companies looking for the resources higher education institutions can deploy around the state.

Key Projects and Initiatives

Faculty and companies come together in a lot of different ways.  Virginia Tech is a founding member in the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing near Petersburg, along with Rolls-Royce Aerospace, Cannon, Newport News Shipbuilding and others.  The university has also provided leadership for the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville and most recently the creation there of the National Tire Research Center in partnership with General Motors.  We have fostered growing partnerships with firms in nuclear engineering and wireless communication that led to the recent opening of the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research in Bedford County.  We have put engineering faculty on the shop floor of both big and small firms in western Virginia's transportation equipment manufacturing sector developing innovative new products. We have also brought leaders from technology firms across Northern Virginia to connect guide the creation of our new Arlington Research Center, which houses faculty in critical areas like cyber security, informatics and energy.

Want to connect your company with faculty? Contact John Provo, Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 540-231-5278. In the National Capitol Region you can also contact Afroze Mohammed, Associate Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (571) 858-3007.


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Taking ideas from lab to market

Getting new ideas into the market place, finding answers to technical problems, or helping companies pursue new opportunities, are all critical ways Virginia Tech impacts the economy. New ideas lead to new products, new market share, and new jobs for Virginia.

When a group of Virginia Tech alumni called VT-IDEA (Intelligence and Defense Executive Alumni), all of whom work in the defense and homeland security industries, asked for help connecting with faculty on campus. We took the lead in organizing their visit, discussed in the video above.  The 'breakout star' of their time on campus was Jules White, a faculty member in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His technology for smart phones can lock them down remotely when sensitive data is at risk. Following the visit he has been talking with a company about taking the technology into the commercial marketplace.