RD388 - Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) FY2020 Annual Report

Executive Summary:

In accordance with Code of Virginia § 2.2-2233.1 G and 2.2-2221 and on behalf of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) respectfully submits this report regarding the performance of the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) in FY2020. The CRCF, managed by CIT, accelerated innovation and drove economic development in the Commonwealth, while solving important state, national, and international problems through technology research, development, and commercialization. Between the program’s inception in FY2012 and its sunset on June 30, 2020, nearly 380 projects around the Commonwealth totaling more than $30 million were approved for funding.

Economic outcomes reported in FY2020 by CRCF award recipients identified early returns on the Commonwealth’s investment: approximately $136 million in follow-on monies to support further technology advancement, nearly $1.7 million in in-kind contributions, eight new companies formed, and approximately 49 products or services launched. In support of the Fund’s goal to commercialize high-potential technologies, annual outcomes reported by awardees reflect the maturation and evolution of their organizations and technologies as they advance toward market entry. Outcomes are discussed below.

In FY2020, CIT offered one CRCF solicitation, which resulted in 30 awards totaling $2.48 million and leveraging the Commonwealth’s investment with more than $13 million in matching funds. These projects, along with those in the CRCF portfolio, are being performed by companies, universities, and research organizations across the state and align with Virginia’s key strategic technology priorities as outlined in the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap (hereafter referred to as “the Roadmap"). The Roadmap, most recently published by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) in October 2019, identifies research areas worthy of economic development and institutional focus because of their promise of driving economic growth in Virginia.

The FY2020 CRCF program was supported by a $2.8 million General Fund appropriation. Funds available to award reflected CIT’s administrative fee as well as monies from previous grants that had not been fully expended or had been declined.