Virginia Tech participates in Northern Virginia Technology Council event to explore university and business partnerships
The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology, and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute represented Virginia Tech at the second annual University Technology Exhibition sponsored by the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
The day-long event at the Hilton McLean featured exhibits from the region’s top universities and breakout presentations on cybersecurity, health information technology/biotechnology, sensors, and energy. The event, attracting about 200 attendees from regional universities and technology companies, offered an opportunity to explore how research and development, commercialization, and licensing can generate new businesses, create industries, and open unexplored markets. Virginia Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey was among those in attendance.
At a morning session on cybersecurity, Charles Clancy, director of the Hume Center, presented an overview of “Research and Education in Cyber Security.” Clancy explained that the Hume Center is unique. While part of the College of Engineering, it is supported by the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences and focuses on developing future leaders for the U.S. federal government.
Emphasizing intelligence and defense sectors, the center promotes educational and research programs geared toward this mission. “Our goal is to be the country's leader in holistically developing the elite science and technology human capital for the intelligence community through sustainable and flexible research programs that engage faculty and students to solve the needs of the national security community,” said Clancy.
During his presentation, Clancy featured the Hume Center’s holistic partnership with L-3 Communications, declaring it a new model for industry/university collaboration. There are a number of key components, Clancy said. In June 2012, L-3 will move more than 50 people in its Cybersecurity Solutions Center to the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington where the Hume Center has its cybersecurity innovations lab. L-3 will offer an internship program for Virginia Tech students; endow faculty fellowships; and fund the growth of Virginia Tech faculty and joint research and development programs in areas of mutual interest. Virginia Tech and L-3 will also team on federal research and development solicitations, said Clancy.
Later in the day, Scott Aken, vice president of Strategic Ventures, L-3 STRATIS Division, reinforced the value of the Virginia Tech/L-3 partnership when he joined a panel of four technology executives who shared their companies' experience with university collaborations and best practices for developing successful partnerships. “L-3 STRATIS has a long history of partnering with academia and we are very familiar with how to work together successfully,” said Aken. “As we focus on delivering innovative cyber solutions to enhance national security, we value Virginia Tech as an important partner to being on the cutting edge.”
Stan Hefta, director, Strategic Business Planning and Development, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, served on a health information technology/biotechnology panel that discussed the changing role of universities in pharmaceutical research and development.
“As pharmaceutical companies continue to see an erosion of new drug approvals they are increasingly looking for ways to spread out the risks of research and development by partnering with academia, government laboratories, and biotech companies. This offers universities like Virginia Tech a tremendous opportunity for an increasing and more active role in drug discovery,” said Hefta.
Throughout the day, Tom Campbell, research associate professor and associate director for Outreach, and Ann Craig, associate director for Communications and Organizational Effectiveness at the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science visited with attendees who stopped by Virginia Tech's exhibit.