Innovation Centers

Leading Regional Innovation

Virginia's Gateway Region is home to manufacturing and logistics innovation. The region is known for game-changing industry-university collaborations such as the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Commonwealth Center for Applied Logistics Systems. World-class university and advanced corporate research centers fill out the innovative environment that continues to build each year. These centers are the impetus behind the readily available regional world-class talent pool for manufacturing and logistics.

Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM)

Focus: Advanced Manufacturing Processes, Surface Coatings, Jet Turbines

Commonwealth Center for Advanced ManufacturingLocated at Rolls-Royce’s Crosspointe campus in Prince George County, this state-of-the-art innovation center is a collaborative R&D facility at which Virginia’s top research and teaching institutions work with leading industry partners. CCAM’s mission is to deliver “production-ready” manufacturing solutions while combining the speed and return on investment expectations of business with the intellectual rigor and innovation of universities.  Working in collaboration with best-in-class manufacturers like Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Canon, and Newport News Shipbuilding, and with Virginia’s flagship universities like the University of Virginia (UVA), Virginia Tech and VSU, CCAM is uniquely positioned to fulfill – and exceed - this mission. CCAM members are directly involved in the research process, and own the resulting intellectual property, creating global competitive advantages.

CCAM is part of a global network of world-class research centers with proven success. The development of CCAM is modeled after and supplements these facilities, including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Sheffield, England and the Advanced Forming Research Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. CCAM is a boon to member businesses’ internal performances and the Gateway Region’s economy.

VGR is interested in working with suppliers and innovation-oriented industry partners that recognize the potential advantages of partnering with CCAM and locating in the region. Contact us for more information.

Commonwealth Center for Applied Logistics Systems (CCALS)

Focus: Logistics, Modeling & Simulation

CCALS offers businesses and government agencies with significant logistics operations a new, unique and collaborative R&D method that promises to cut costs, accelerate new discoveries and deliver transformative results to the technology, transportation, human and other systems that enable logistics. University members Longwood University, UVA, VCU and VSU funded the startup of the innovation center. CCALS takes advantage of the region's resources such as Fort Lee’s Army Logistics University and Sustainment Center, the Defense Logistics Agency, aviation, local distribution hubs and university research capability.

Charter industry members LMI (McLean, VA) and Logistics Management Resources (Prince George County) ensure continued output from CCALS is aggressively taken to the marketplace. Industry and government agency members define the practical problems to solve and the collaborative environment facilitates development and testing of solutions as intellectual property. It also influences local workforce readiness for logistics through K-12 schools, community colleges and universities. CCALS is the cornerstone of a Virginia Logistics Innovation Zone, establishing this area as a global logistics innovation gateway. In 10 years, the research center is expected to have more than 30 industry members and house 49 full-time staff, with 35 graduate research assistants and 35 undergraduate interns.

Virginia’s Gateway Region has always been a distribution hub throughout U.S. history, but now it has also become a logistics expertise hotspot, with exciting innovations to come.

Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

Focus: Forensics, Biotoxins, National Organ Transplantation Process

Home to over 59 life science companies, research institutes and state/federal laboratories, the Virginia Biotech Research Park in Richmond is at the heart of the nation’s East Coast pharmaceutical and biotechnology corridor. Tenant companies range from early-stage companies to national and international healthcare organizations and companies. The Virginia Biosciences Commercialization Center assists both domestic and foreign companies with bringing their products to U.S. markets. The Virginia Biosciences Development Center assists startups and early-stage companies in a 27,000 square foot business incubation facility. More than 70 companies have started there since its opening in 1995.

Corporate Research

Sabra Research Center of Excellence: Establishes best practices on all aspects of culinary, food science, production, engineering, packaging, supply chain, and product delivery, as well as collaborating with local universities to research new genetic strains of produce to optimize for local sourcing of materials. 

Evonik Industries: In 2014, Evonik doubled its laboratory space locally, undertaking special joint operative research for customers, opening up entrepreneurial opportunities in developing chemical products for industrial, cosmetic and household use.

WestRock Center for Packaging Innovation: WestRock (formerly MeadWestVaco and RockTenn) tests coatings and polymers and materials and metallurgy engineering for packaging products at it’s Center for Packaging Innovation. The company operates a dedicated facility in addition to work at its corporate headquarters in the area.

Honeywell: With a major employment presence in the region, Honeywell produces chemicals en masse, including caprolactam for textiles, phenol for internal combustion, ammonium sulfate for fertilizer and nylon 6 resin. It conducts research locally for applications and improvements of these resins and chemicals.

Altria/Philip Morris USA: Also headquartered in the area, Altria conducts research at its 450,000 square foot Center for Research & Technology in the Biotech Park in downtown Richmond. The Center produces innovations for tobacco and related products’ safety (filters, etc.) and packaging, utilizing the metropolitan area’s research and medical sciences expertise.

University Research

University of RichmondUniversity of Richmond: The University of Richmond offers numerous opportunities for undergraduate students to conduct research independently or in collaboration with faculty.

Specializations: Arts, Social Sciences, Physics, Biology

Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia Commonwealth University (VCU): VCU has 28 individual research institutes ranging from numerous medical fields to environmental studies to public policy. VCU is the state’s largest public university and a major national research university.

Specializations: Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts, Business, Engineering, Marketing

Virginia State UniversityVirginia State University (VSU): VSU boasts world-renowned researchers and state-of-the-art facilities. It has linkages with other universities and research organizations and a broad spectrum of both publicly- and privately-funded projects.

Specializations: Physics, Energy and Environmental Studies, Engineering Technology, Water Quality Management, Aquaculture

Additional Research Capability

Additional state universities with major research capability are located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, acting as a source of graduates and experienced researchers. Both CCAM and CCALS have called on expertise from throughout the state in getting their innovation programs in gear. The nationally renowned universities include Virginia Tech, UVA, Old Dominion University, George Mason University, James Madison University, Longwood University and more.

Refundable Research and Development Expenses Tax Credit

Businesses may claim a tax credit equal to 15 percent of the first $167,000 ($25,050) in Virginia qualified research and development expenses incurred during the taxable year or they may claim a tax credit equal to 20 percent of the first $175,000 ($35,000) in Virginia qualified research and development expenses if the qualified research was conducted in conjunction with a Virginia college or university.

More information on innovation in the region is available upon request. Contact us today.