Va. advisers to promote development

A new 30-member committee will work to promote technology-based economic

growth in Virginia by strengthening its research and technology base.

The Research and Technology Advisory Commission, which Gov. Jim Gilmore

created by executive order July 10, aims to:

* Strengthen the state's research ability at public research universities.

* Create closer ties among the universities and the private sector.

* Improve the climate for technology-based laboratories and business.

* Serve as an adviser to the governor and other levels of the government

on technology research and development.

The commission will provide advice on how to spend money in the new Commonwealth

Technology Research Fund. It will likely consider recommendations for a

broad research and technology strategy and for policies protecting the intellectual

property developed by state universities.

The commission is composed of senior research managers from the state's

research universities, federal laboratories located in the state and the

state's technology industries. It will be co-chaired by Anita Jones, a University

of Virginia engineering professor, and Marc Pelaez, vice president of business

and technology development for Newport News Shipbuilding. All members will

serve a renewable two-year term.

VRTAC held its first meeting on July 11.

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