Dynamic Centers of Innovation

Every year billions in federal research dollars are spent in Virginia, which is the 4th highest recipient nationwide of federal spending on contracts and grants in medical and life sciences fields. Virginia ranked No. 3 in number of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards in 2020. Research activity in Virginia encompasses a wide array of disciplines relevant to the life sciences industry, including bioengineering, biomedical engineering, and chemical engineering.

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute makes transformative scientific advances that address the fundamental processes of human and animal health and disease. The only university-level institute at Virginia Tech dedicated to biomedical research, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute trains the next generation of leading biomedical scientists while also facilitating discovery-based medical education. The target research areas for the institute include addiction recovery, cancer, cardiovascular science, children’s health, health behaviors, human neuroscience, infectious disease, and molecular and cellular neurobiology.

University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute

University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute develops genomic, proteomic, and bioinformatic tools that can be applied to the study of infectious diseases as well as the discovery of new vaccine, drug, and diagnostic targets. In Mathematical Biocomplexity, the institute uses high-level math to understand biological systems, with a focus on overlooked genetic information. Additionally, the Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing division builds computational models to assess threats – from natural disasters to epidemics — and projects the possible outcomes of strategic responses. Statistical, social, and behavioral scientists work together in the Social and Decision Analytics division to understand human activities.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR)

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation. Providing applied research, advanced learning, economic development, advanced manufacturing, and conference services, IALR is focused on bringing the diverse resources of both public and private entities at the regional and statewide level to empower Southern Virginia’s economy and provide a cutting-edge asset for life science, agriculture, and advanced manufacturing firms.

VA Bio+Park

The VA Bio+Park is a dynamic life sciences and emerging technologies community located on a 34-acre site in downtown Richmond adjacent to the VCU medical school. It is home to nearly 70 companies, research institutes, state/federal laboratories, and research centers in approximately 1.5 million square feet of space, employing approximately 2,400 researchers, scientists, and engineers. Tenant companies include early and mid-stage companies; multinational pharmaceutical, environmental and consumer product companies; national health care organizations managing the nation’s solid organ transplant program, as well as a number of international companies. The VA Bio+Park has a life sciences incubator facility, the Bio+Tech Center, which is equipped with wet laboratory/office suites and a shared lab. The Bio+Tech Center serves as a “soft landing” spot to foreign bioscience companies looking to enter the U.S. market.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Janelia Research Campus

HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn breaks through technical and intellectual barriers. Janelia’s integrated teams of lab scientists and tool-builders pursue a small number of scientific questions with potential for transformative impact. Since the campus opened in 2006, Janelia scientists have made a number of biological advances, including foundational analysis of the complex neural connections and computations that underlie behavior. Janelia’s research model includes core features shared by innovative research institutions, including small research groups, an emphasis on early scientific independence, an environment that fosters collaboration, highly capable scientific support teams, and an explicit goal to make progress in a small number of high-impact, challenging research areas.

Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI), a state-of-the-art research and training facility, is the only proton therapy cancer treatment center in Virginia and the largest free-standing proton therapy institute in the world. Founded in 2007, HUPTI contains five treatment rooms to treat over 2,000 patients annually with breast, lung, prostate, pediatric, and other cancers. HUPTI specializes in proton therapy treatments, which offer fewer side effects and less damage to surrounding tissue and organs than traditional cancer treatments

VCU Medicines for All Institute

The Medicines for All Institute (M4ALL), based at the VCU College of Engineering in Richmond, is committed to improving global access to high-quality medications by driving down production costs. By re-imagining manufacturing processes, M4ALL’s chemical engineers and chemists optimize active pharmaceutical ingredient production and provide open access to manufacturers around the world to enhance the security of medicine supply chains. M4ALL was founded in 2017 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.