Feb. 3 - 16, 2006
Vol. 36, Issue 2
Back Issues
Faculty recruitment, diversity initiatives, South Lawn project top BOV agenda
Bhangra night

Nursing gets largest gift ever

R&D prospects
Senate focus may shift
Athletics gives $25,000 to graduate student research and $25,000 to marching band
Hands-on J-Term class
Urban designer lends expertise to national initiative on New Orleans
New LGBT coordinator keeps the door open for U.Va. community, whether gay, straight or questioning
Artists share 'green' visions
U.Va. launches Society of University Families

Wayward Christian soldiers

Study correlates perceived ball size with batting average
Walter Ridley speaker series
Pinkett to discuss black intellectual entrepreneurship
Women's Center Events
Poet Carol Muske-Dukes Stars at two events on Feb. 15
Feb. 6 forum marks release of Reagan Oral History Project
Suite Jane


R&D prospects
Meeting’s aim to match U.Va. research with industry interests

William Walker
Photographs by Jack Looney
William Walker, associate professor of biomedical engineering, displays the work of his Medical Ultrasound Technology Group for officals from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

By Fariss Samarrai

More than a dozen officials from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a department of the commonwealth’s Secretary of Commerce, met with University administrators and researchers last week during a two-day visit to Charlottesville and the University. The purpose of the visit was to learn about local initiatives and research with potential for attracting high-tech industry to the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. A large part of the visit included tours of major U.Va. research laboratories conducting basic and applied research that may be of interest to companies.

During the first day of the visit, held at the Omni Hotel, officials met with administrators from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle and other central Virginia counties, and executives from local biotechnology start-up companies with U.Va. ties.

Ariel Gomez
Dr. R. Ariel Gomez
Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies

The second day included a breakfast hosted by Dr. R. Ariel Gomez, vice president for research and graduate studies, and tours of several key labs in the Medical Center and School of Engineering and Applied Science, as well as the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. The VEDP project managers learned about U.Va. research in morphogenesis (how tissues form) and organogenesis (how organs form), cardiovascular medicine, chemistry and pathology, materials science, ultrasound technology and other areas.

Gomez said the University will need to continue to establish closer ties to industry and develop more tech-transfer opportunities if it is to attract more of the “best and the brightest researchers to the University and secure the excellence that is already here.” He mentioned the Board of Visitors’ $126 million initiative to enhance science and technology research at the University as an example of the institutional commitment to strengthening U.Va. in key areas, including the hiring of leading researchers. He said these efforts will ultimately propel U.Va. to international prominence in emerging areas of research strength. And industry ties can translate into funded research at the University as well as provide industry partners for local startups.

“We are trying to recruit many different kinds of companies to Virginia, and the research universities are a major draw,” said Gary McLaren, deputy director of VEDP. “By visiting U.Va., and through our interactions with various companies, we can connect the dots and possibly match research at the University with what particular companies are looking for. We are making the business case for why this state is a great place to do business with the research resources at the University and the good quality of life here.”

“This visit by VEDP helps to create a cultural change at the University toward bringing new innovations by our researchers out into the public sector to benefit the citizens of the commonwealth, and the nation,” said Tom Skalak, chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies hosted the visit, and Virginia Gateway, an activity of that office, helped organize the tour. Virginia Gateway provides business contacts and resources for inventors at U.Va. who would want to take an invention to market or establish a company. They also guide inventors through the process of technology commercialization, offering a number of pathways to smooth the journey from discovery to product, service or business.


© Copyright 2006 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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