Unmanned Systems

Unmanned Systems Receives Funding from Governor Northam

Blacksburg, VA – Two unmanned systems companies in Blacksburg received Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) awards from Governor Ralph Northam.

The CRCF awarded a total of $2.51 million to 41 companies in the Commonwealth of Virginia who specialize in one of five industries: clean energy, cybersecurity, data analytics, life sciences, and unmanned systems. According to the press release, the “CRCF drives technological and economic development in Virginia by investing in research, development, and commercialization of early-stage, high-potential technologies, when funding can be an essential catalyst to successful market entry.”

Mr. Kyle Schwartz of AVEC, Inc., Acoustical and Vibrations Engineering Consultants, received $49,997 for the advancement of software-based noise prediction tools for multirotor aircraft and Mr. Joshua Eckstein at Eksdyne Inc, was awarded $49,936 to further focus on integrated system for evolving and developing devices.

“Virginia is recognized as one of the most innovative states in the nation, and we know that identifying and supporting Virginia innovators at critical early stages through state-funded programs like CRCF is key to maintaining and expanding our leadership role. The Commonwealth will continue to deliver programs that facilitate bringing pioneering technologies and ideas to market and create a culture where entrepreneurs will thrive. – Governor Ralph Northam

Read more about other companies and organizations who received an award in one of the five industries including Virginia Tech in the Life Sciences industry and MOVA Technologies, Inc. in Clean Energy.

###

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.

New Trails in Virginia’s New River Valley

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VA – Virginia’s New River Valley completes the last portion of the 10-mile Huckleberry Trail.

The Huckleberry Trail runs from northwest Blacksburg all the way to the Christiansburg Recreation Center and Christiansburg High School. The newest portion of the trail connects to Brush Mountain in northwest Montgomery County where mountain bikers will be able to utilize the newly opened Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Park, located at the south end of the trail.

The trail is great for biking, running, walking, and taking in the sites of historic New River Valley such as Merrimac Mine Heritage Park, which pays tribute to the old mining company town.

To read more about more upcoming outdoor recreation opportunties, read Su Clauson-Wicker’s articles of Blue Ridge Country.

###

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.

VTTI Shuttle

New Autonomous Shuttle Serves VTTI

BLACKSBURG, VA – More autonomous vehicles are now operating in Virginia’s New River Valley with the addition of the autonomous shuttle at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

The shuttle, which only goes 12 mph, takes students and employees just a half mile down the road from the BT bus stop to the front of the building.

The normal path people usually have to walk on is hilly and contains no sidewalk. The shuttle solves the problem of “last mile transportation” that many autonomous researchers are working to fix.

VTTI purchased the shuttle from EasyMile, a French company, and is conducting new research on how both passengers and other drivers respond to the shuttle.

This project is another great announced that will bring visibility for the Unmanned Systems industry in Virginia’s New River Valley.

For more information, read Jacob Demmitt’s article for the Roanoke Times.

###

###

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.

ozmo new jobs

Ozmo to Add 40 Jobs in Montgomery County

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Ozmo, a technology company that builds software products for mobile operations and their customers, will invest over $200,000 to expand its existing operation in Montgomery County. The project will position the company to meet increasing demand for its products from top mobile operations and device manufacturers from around the world, creating 40 new jobs.

“Since its arrival in Montgomery County just three years ago, Ozmo has grown from a small startup to a thriving company,” said Governor Northam. “The New River Valley’s impressive cluster of technology businesses continues to grow thanks to the region’s renowned educational institutions that will supply a tech talent pipeline for years to come. The Commonwealth is proud to support Ozmo’s job creation efforts and we thank the company for choosing to expand and reinvest in here in Virginia.”

With a customer base including Verizon and TELUS, Ozmo helps mobile operators and their consumers solve any device, application, or software issue quickly and effectively. Over 75,000 contact center agents use the company’s support platform, which scales to assist mobile operators and device manufacturers of all sizes. The Ozmo platform assists in over 25 million support interactions each year.

“Information technology is evolving rapidly in the Commonwealth and beyond, and we rely on innovative companies such as Ozmo to keep Virginia at the forefront of this industry,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This exciting expansion will nearly double Ozmo’s workforce in Virginia, demonstrating that the sky is the limit for homegrown IT firms in the New River Valley. We thank Ozmo for its commitment to growth in Montgomery County, and for the creation of 40 new, 21st-century jobs in the Commonwealth.”

“Ozmo is doubling down on its commitment to growing in downtown Blacksburg,” said CEO of Ozmo David Catalano. “Our proximity to Virginia Tech provides us a unique advantage of access to top talent, while also being able to offer exceptional quality of life for our employees. We look forward to growing locally in order to support the increasing demand for our products worldwide.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Montgomery County to secure the project for Virginia. VEDP will support Ozmo’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change in order to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.

Ozmo is currently participating in VEDP’s award-winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program. VALET is an application-based, two-year global export acceleration program that provides participating companies with assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help meet their export goals.

“We value businesses like Ozmo that are investing in our community and creating even more technology-based jobs, which are attractive to both our citizens and others who wish to relocate to our region,” said Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chair Todd King.

“Ozmo’s expansion in Montgomery County demonstrates a burgeoning high-tech business environment in the New River Valley with a workforce prepared to meet the needs of a growing mobile market,” said Senator John S. Edwards. “Since 2012, VJIP has assisted in more than 2,000 jobs brought to Montgomery County, and its support in this expansion is yet another testament of its commitment to job creation in the region.”

“David Catalano and his team at Ozmo work tirelessly to build and maintain relationships with some of the most impactful telecommunications companies in the world,” said Delegate Chris Hurst. “I am thrilled that Ozmo will be making additional investments in the New River Valley, proving that the region around Virginia Tech and Radford University is one of the best for tech talent in the nation.”

###

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.”

NRV internet

Montgomery County and City of Radford Study Internet Needs

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – At the end of March, Governor Northam announced that both Floyd and Giles counties received Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants. These grants come from federal and state funds that have be designated for broadband improvement projects across Virginia.

Now Montgomery County and the City of Radford will be joining in the effort to make sure all the communities in the NRV have better internet connectivity. The two localities plan to conduct a study that will find areas that have insufficient internet service. It will also look into how to remedy those insufficiencies.

The NRV Regional Commission conducted a survey in 2017, in which Montgomery County residents reported insufficient internet speeds from Blacksburg (30%), Christiansburg (36%), and Montgomery County (48%).

Before making improvements, the localities need to understand exactly where the greatest needs are. That’s why they’re in the process of hiring a consultant to create a plan for both localities. Bids on the project were due in late April.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development awarded Montgomery county a $30,000 grant to help pay for the the plan’s development.

Find more details from Jacob Demmitt at the Roanoke Times.

###

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.”

Project Wing Delivery, First Commercial Drone Delivery in US

NRV to Be Home of First Commercial Drone Deliveries in US

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEYBlacksburg and Christiansburg are the first towns in the U.S. where residents can have drone deliveries to their homes.

Google subsidiary Wing is leading a project that will bring commercial drone deliveries to the U.S., starting in Virginia’s New River Valley.

Wing received the same FAA and Department of Transportation certifications as smaller airlines. According to Bloomberg’s Alan Levin, the FAA is currently working on rules regarding “flights over people” as they relate to drone activity.

Wing is currently looking for drone staging sites in the NRV and gauging interest of local businesses that might want to utilize their services.

Read detailed coverage on this breaking story from Jacob Demmitt at the Roanoke Times: https://www.roanoke.com/business/drone-delivery-set-to-land-in-blacksburg-and-christiansburg-this/article_13af81c2-490e-5340-85b3-2279da2e85eb.html.

Also see coverage from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-23/alphabet-s-drone-delivery-business-cleared-for-takeoff-by-faa.

###

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.”

Blacksburg #4 Safest Town In Virginia

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Blacksburg was recently named one of the safest towns in Virginia by SafeWise. This is the fifth annual Safest Cities report by SafeWise.

Crime rates in Virginia are below the national average. In fact, all cities had fewer than 1.5 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Top 5 Safest Cities in Virginia

1. Bridgewater
2. Berryville
3. Vienna
4. Blacksburg
5. Tazewell

The safest city rankings are determined through FBI crime data, population thresholds. For more information visit the methodology page from SafeWise.

###

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.”

NRV Among Best of Virginia Aerospace

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Several assets and locations in Virginia’s New River Valley have made the cut as some of the best of Virginia’s Aerospace industry. The accolades were published in the Fall 2018 Edition (current issue) of the Southern Business & Development Magazine.

Virginia Aerospace Rankings

The best places in Western Virginia for Aerospace included Montgomery County-Blacksburg and Radford.

Virginia Tech was also named one of the Best Colleges for Aerospace Worker Training. The Virginia Tech Aerospace and Ocean Engineering is the #5 program in the world according to the center for World University Rankings (2018).

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium, which Virginia Tech is a part of, was also mentioned as one of the best in Aerospace R&D in Virginia.

Click to enlarge the photo on the right to view all rankings in Virginia.

###

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.”

Blacksburg Commute

Blacksburg Has the Shortest Commute in VA

BLACKSBURG, VA – The numbers are in and according to Business Insider, Blacksburg has the shortest commute time in Virginia.

The average commute in Blacksburg is 13.9 minutes.

The shortest commutes in neighboring states include:

  • Murray, Kentucky — 12.4
  • Fruitland, Maryland — 15.7
  • Boone, North Carolina — 13.3 minutes
  • Paris, Tennessee — 13.2 minutes
  • Elkins, West Virginia — 11.4
  • Blacksburg Commute

    Business Insider used data from the American Community Survey from the Census Bureau. Data from 2013 to 2017, Business Insider identified cities/towns with at least 1,000 workers over the age of 16. It also excludes college campuses and military bases.

    For full list of shortest commute times in the state, visit Business Insider.

    ###

    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.”

    Blacksburg Mountain Bike Park

    Blacksburg Mountain Bike Skills Park Now Under Construction

    FROM TOWN OF BLACKSBURG – On February 18, Lynchburg-based Native Landworks began construction on the Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Skills Park located on the back four acres of Brush Mountain, off Meadowbrook Drive. The park is expected to be finished by mid-April.

    The Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Park is a community effort, led by Blacksburg Parks and Recreation, with funding provided in part by the Blacksburg Rotary Club and over 150 individuals and area businesses. The primary purpose of the project is to establish an off-road experience in a structured setting that provides various riding opportunities and experiences to the public. The park will include 3560 feet of downhill trails with obstacles to give beginners and intermediate riders the opportunity to learn how to maneuver on the terrain; while more advanced riders can work on perfecting their skills.

    “We’re very excited to begin construction on the mountain bike skills park,” said Blacksburg Town Manager Marc Verniel. “The park will provide an additional outdoor recreation amenity for area residents and will add to our wider region’s appeal as a mountain biking and outdoor recreation destination. This project is possible because of the community members and organizations that have contributed their ideas and funding to support the park’s construction.”

    For more information on the park visit http://blacksburgmtbpark.org/ or contact Dean Crane, Director of Parks and Recreation at dcrane@blacksburg.gov or 540-443-1101.

    ###

    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.”