Grant funding for new collaborative sat data research center

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A two-year grant is going to fund a collaborative research center.

Governor Ralph Northam announced the $1.5 million grant from the Virginia Research Investment Fund on Tuesday.

It will be used to launch the Virginia Small Sat Data Consortium, which will be co-led by Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech along with the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and NASA Langley Research Center.

According to a release, this project has also lined up another $1.8 million in additional funding as a condition of receiving the grant.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia administered the competition for it, and the Virginia Research Investment Committee selected the recipient.

"Virginia's institutions of higher education are at the forefront of groundbreaking advances in areas like aerospace and the biosciences, and serve as hubs for innovative ideas and the commercialization of new technologies," said Northam. "This project, and the consortium's public-private partnerships, will help bolster the Commonwealth's position as a leader in satellite and data collection and support our continues work to drive Virginia's economy forward."

This was the second round of competition for funding, seeking proposals for capacity-building projects at research centers in opportunity areas for small satellites, autonomous systems, big data, cybersecurity, and the life sciences.

Submitted projects were evaluated by a team of peer reviewers, entrepreneurs and investors to see its potential to yield commercial products in the long-term.

The 2016 General Assembly passed legislation supporting the academic research enterprise, creating the Virginia Research Investment Fund and the Virginia Research Investment Committee.

The release says appropriated funds and $29 million in bonding authority support the purchase of research equipment or laboratory renovations associated with research incentive packages and the translation of research into commercial use.

For more information on the Virginia Research Investment Fund and Committee, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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