The forum, open to the public, will showcase Virginia Innovation Partnership projects, offer keynote talks by global investment leaders and provide periods of networking time for participants and forum attendees, according to the University of Virginia’s Office of the Vice President for Research.
The Virginia Innovation Partnership is a “statewide network that funds and mentors innovative teams and proof-of-concept projects at all of Virginia’s universities and colleges, with the goal of commercialization. Attracting adequate venture capital funds and high-quality intellectual and business partners is a key to success,” according to its website. U.Va. is among the partnership’s members.
The forum will be held at the U.S. Patent and Trademark offices in Alexandria starting at 8 a.m. and concluding with a reception at 5 p.m. Scheduled speakers include Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell; Matt Erskine, deputy assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce; U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan; George Mason President Angel Cabrera; Virginia Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey; and Peggy Focarino, commissioner for patents, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The partnership seeks to increase private-sector funding that supports job creation and innovation, as a well as new technology, by connecting researchers, corporations and state and local government. It encourages start-up companies to establish their base in Virginia, while also attracting established companies to invest in the state by increasing technology licensing potential, said Tom Skalak, vice president for research at U.Va. and a member of the partnership’s Governing Committee.
The partnership is supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge, which supports technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.