Your turn — Let’s look ahead

Published 12:00 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

With the Thanksgiving holiday over and Christmas quickly approaching, it is time to look ahead to the 2023 General Assembly Session. The constitution of Virginia mandates that the Virginia General Assembly meet once each year on the second week in January. Legislative sessions are typically 60 days in even numbered years and 45 days in odd numbered years. Virginia’s biennial budget is crafted in even numbered years, giving the legislature the much-needed extra time to work out the two year multi-billion dollar appropriation. This year is a “short” session (45 days), where we will make small adjustments to the 2022-2024 budget and consider all legislation before the body. My office has begun the process of drafting legislation for the upcoming session to deal with important issues to both the region and the commonwealth. As I finalize my policy proposals this year, I will be sure to share them with you both here and on social media.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Last week, Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation’s (VIPC) Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) was pleased to announce more than $1.5 million in funding for 24 Virginia-based businesses and university researchers in Q3 2022. The CCF program has awarded more than $42 million to the Virginia technology ecosystem since 2012 for innovation and commercialization support.

“Virginia recognizes the importance of moving university-developed innovations into the commercial market and supporting emerging startups as they develop and grow. VIPC’s CCF program consistently provides critical funding support to university projects with strong commercialization potential, as well as to scalable technology-driven private startups. The VIPC and these Virginia-based businesses and universities contribute to our economic vitality and new high-paying jobs,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.

The Youngkin administration has established goals to add 400,000 jobs and to create 10,000 startups by 2026. VIPC’s market development and funding programs, including CCF and Virginia Venture Funds, contribute to the administration’s goals by providing early funding support for Virginia’s university-based innovators, entrepreneurs and startups.

“The 24 CCF awards that we celebrate with this announcement represent a variety of industries and innovators who have all discovered that Virginia values their entrepreneurial spirit and vision for the future. Helping university-based innovators and private-sector entrepreneurs find a path to success is critical to technology leadership, job creation, and the development of emerging industries in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Secretary Caren Merrick.

MY TAKE

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant monies have flowed into the region through the VIPC program creating new opportunities in multiple industry sectors from aerospace to agriculture and many other emerging industries. This large investment in local entrepreneurs and innovators shows the economic strength of our region and will help to cultivate a stronger economy here at home.

DEL. C. MATTHEW FARISS represents Buckingham in the Virginia House of Delegates. His email address is DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov.