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2018 Special Session I

Budget Bill - HB5002 (Chapter 2)

Higher Education Research Initiative

Item 252

Item 252

First Year - FY2019Second Year - FY2020
Financial Assistance For Educational and General Services (11000)$8,000,000$28,000,000
Sponsored Programs (11004)FY2019 $8,000,000FY2020 $28,000,000
Fund Sources: 
GeneralFY2019 $8,000,000FY2020 $28,000,000

Authority: Title 23.1, Chapter 31, Article 8, Code of Virginia


A. Out of this appropriation, $8,000,000 the first year and $8,000,000 the second year from the general fund is designated for the Virginia Research Investment Fund. These funds shall be allocated in accordance with provisions established in Chapter 775 of the 2016 General Assembly and shall be used to (i) promote research and development excellence in the Commonwealth; (ii) foster innovative and collaborative research, development, and commercialization efforts in projects and programs with a high potential for economic development and job creation opportunities; (iii) position the Commonwealth as a national leader in science-based and technology-based research, development, and commercialization; and (iv) to attract and recruit eminent researchers that enhance research superiority at public institutions of higher education.


B.1. The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative shall be established to serve as an engine for research, innovation, and commercialization of cybersecurity technologies, and address the Commonwealth's need for growth of advanced and professional degrees within the cyber workforce.


2. The initiative shall consist of a primary Hub, located in Northern Virginia, and a network of Spokes across the Commonwealth with collaborating public institutions of higher education in Virginia and industry partners to build an ecosystem of cyber-related research, education, and engagement that positions the Commonwealth as a world leader of cybersecurity.


3. In collaboration with public institutions in the Commonwealth, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University shall serve as the anchoring institution and coordinate the activities of the Hub.


4. Out of this appropriation, $10,000,000 in the second year from the general fund is provided to the Virginia Research Investment Fund (VRIF) to scale the initiative and provide resources for faculty recruiting at both the Hub and Spoke sites. The VRIF will establish a process for public institutions of higher education in Virginia to seek certification as a Spokes site based on a plan for institutional investment, industry partnership, enrollment growth, and research focus areas. The Hub and certified Spokes sites will have the ability to seek matching funds for faculty recruitment and support for renovations and equipment. Certified institutions shall submit their funding request application to the Virginia Research Investment Committee established in § 23.1-3132 for review and evaluation. After completing its review, the Virginia Research Investment Committee, pursuant to § 23.1-3133, shall approve or deny the request for an allocation of funds.


5. Out of this appropriation, $10,000,000 in the second year from the general fund is provided for the leasing of space and establishment of the Hub by the anchoring institution and for the establishment of research faculty, entrepreneurship programs, student internships and educational programming, and operations of the Hub.


6. Out of the amounts authorized in Item C-52.10 of Chapter 836, 2017 Session, $5,000,000 in the first year shall be made available for renovations, space enhancements, and equipment.


7. No later than December 1, 2018, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University shall provide to the Virginia Research Investment Committee (VRIC) a blueprint for the development and operation of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative. This report will include such components as an outline of Virginia Tech's operating model of the Hub, a framework for Spoke sites and their interface with the Hub, an assessment of opportunities for industry partnerships and the commercialization of innovation, and a vision for both the short-term and long-term development of the initiative. The report will define the amount needed to establish the Hub including renovations, equipping and leasing of space, establishment of research faculty, entrepreneurship programs, student internships and educational programming, operations of the Hub, establishment of cyber-physical systems security at the Hub and at supporting Spoke sites across the Commonwealth, establishment of a machine learning lab at the Hub, and the amount for Virginia Research Investment Fund (VRIF) to scale the initiative and provide resources for faculty recruiting at both the Hub and Spoke sites. The report will clarify the process for public institutions of higher education in Virginia to seek certification as a Spoke site based on a plan for institutional investment, industry partnership, enrollment growth, and research focus areas. The Hub and certified Spoke sites will have the ability to seek matching funds for faculty recruitment and support for renovations and equipment. Certified institutions shall submit their funding request application to the Virginia Research Investment Committee established in § 23.1-3132 for review and evaluation. After completing its review, the Virginia Research Investment Committee, pursuant to § 23.1-3133, shall approve or deny the request for an allocation of funds.