Virginia Tech Project Named Finalist for BBB Regional Challenge

Virginia Tech Project Named Finalist for BBB Regional Challenge

New River Valley, VA – The U.S. Economic Development Administration has named a Virginia Tech proposal, titled “The Future of Transportation and Logistics”, as a finalist for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. According to the U.S. EDA, “[t]he Challenge provides transformational investments to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters across the country, all while embracing equitable economic growth, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness.”

Virginia Tech was chosen as one of sixty finalists out of 529 applications from across the country. Each finalist was awarded a $500,000 grant to help develop their final proposal. From the finalists, the U.S. EDA “will ultimately award 20-30 regional coalitions between $25 and $100 million to implement 3-8 projects that support an industry sector.”

The proposed project from Virginia Tech will bring together partners across Virginia’s New River Valley and the adjacent regions to develop three transformational projects that will grow the region’s economy. The projects are:

  1. I-81 Autonomous-Electric Testbed
  2. Advanced Air Mobility Testbed
  3. Industry network for training, talent, technology, and entrepreneurial development

Finalist proposals are due to the U.S. EDA by March 15, 2022 and winners are expected to be announced no later than September 2022. Learn more about the Build Back Better Regional Challenge here.

Read Virginia Tech’s project proposal summary for “The Future of Transporation and Logistics” here.

Learn more about advanced manufacturing, unmanned systems, and other industries in Virginia’s New River Valley here.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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