virginia business; new river valley

Virginia Business Features NRV Leaders in ‘100 People to Meet in 2020’

New River Valley, VAVirginia Business released its inaugural list of Virginians you should get to know this year including innovators, builders, and educators in the NRV.

Innovators
Virginia has no dearth of creative, visionary entrepreneurs and businesspeople. Representing industries ranging from hemp farming to autonomous vehicles and blockchain, they’re moving the needle.

Steven Critchfield, President and CEO, MOVA Technologies; owner, West Main Development, Pulaski
Matt Hagan, Owner and farmer, Truharvest Farms, Christiansburg
Dan Larimer, Chief technology officer, Block.one, Blacksburg

Builders
Be it residential or commercial, historic renovation or new construction, from small-scale, mixed-use developments to massive interstate highway projects, these are some of the many professionals who are leaving their imprint on Virginia’s landscape.

Luke Allison, Entrepreneur, Pulaski

Educators
When Virginia regained the No. 1 ranking on CNBC’s annual Top States for Business list this year, one of the factors that put the Old Dominion over the top was our “wealth of colleges and universities,” lauded by CNBC as “the best in the nation.” These are some of the educators, researchers and administrators who helped the commonwealth earn that reputation.

Mark Blanks, Director, Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Blacksburg
Tom Dingus, Executive director, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Blacksburg
Brandy Salmon, Managing director, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus; associate vice president for clinical and translational research, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg and Alexandria

Rainmakers
Through their outreach, marketing and incentives, these are people who attract and grow businesses, making the commonwealth wealthier.

Donna Gambrell, President and CEO, Appalachian Community Capital, Christiansburg

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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; Automated Driving System; unmanned systems

VTTI Receives Funding for Automated Vehicle Research

Blacksburg, VA Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) was awarded two U.S. Department of Transportation grants totaling $15 million to continue research on the safe integration of autonomous vehicles into U.S. roadways.

Out of the 73 proposals, seven grants were awarded by the Automated Driving System Demonstration Grants program. This program provides federal funding to projects in order to test how to safely integrate automated driving systems on U.S. roadways. VTTI was the only organization to receive two grants, each $7.5 million, to fund two separate projects: automated driving systems and public safety and automated trucks and mixed fleets. VTTI is the biggest transportation research institute in the U.S. with the largest group of driving safety researchers in the world and an infrastructure worth more than $110 million.

The first project, automated driving systems and public safety, will focus on showing how highly automated vehicles can safely adapt to encounters with public safety, which is very unpredictable by nature. VTTI is collaborating with stakeholders like Transurban, the Virginia Department of Transportation, public safety stakeholders, the Global Center for Automotive Performance, and a Consortium of Automotive Manufacturers organized through CAMP LLC. Testing of the public safety scenarios will take place on the I-95 Express Lanes which are operated by Transurban.

The second project, automated trucks and mixed fleets, is working with the trucking industry to provide clear guidelines on how to safely implement and benefit from trucks with automated driving systems. Along with the development of a fleet concept of operations, demonstrations will take place on public roadways.

“VTTI has assembled a world-class 17-member team that includes automated driving system technology developers, trucking fleets, six state departments of transportation, and other supporting organizations, to tackle this topic.”
– Martin Walker, VTTI Senior Research Associate

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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.

auvsi, new river valley, Virginia, unmanned systems, drones

AUVSI Ridge & Valley Stays at the Forefront of Unmanned Systems

Blacksburg, VA – Unmanned system technologies are rapidly maturing into indispensable tools for civil service, commerce, science, and security. These tools are increasingly connected to one another, and to the human workers they support, creating partnerships that offer fantastic new opportunities — and new technical challenges. Other sorts of partnerships have emerged to address these challenges and opportunities – from industry/government/academic consortia to externally funded entrepreneurial ventures. Come meet with us this Fall in the beautiful New River Valley as we discuss the latest advances in unmanned systems.

Tuesday Morning Keynote: Ryan Eustice, PhD, Senior Vice President of Automated Driving, Toyota Research Institute (TRI)

In addition to his role as VP of Automated Driving at TRI, Dr. Eustice serves on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s “Council on Future Mobility,” a state government regulatory policy advisory board, and he directs the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory (PeRL) at the University of Michigan. Dr. Eustice received a Ph.D. from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Ocean Engineering in 2005 and was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. Best known for his work in advancing large-scale simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), including the visual mapping of the RMS Titanic, Dr. Eustice is a past recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER and ONR Young Investigator awards.

Tuesday Noon Spotlight: Catherine McGhee, PE, Director of Research and Innovation, VA Transportation Research Council

Cathy McGhee has been with the Virginia Transportation Research Council since 1993, where she has led VDOT’s research program on connected and automated vehicles and has worked with VDOT staff and university partners to develop, test, and deploy equipment and applications within the Virginia Connected and Automated Corridors to advance VDOT’s mission of delivering safe and efficient mobility. As a part of this effort, she has participated in the Virginia Secretary of Transportation’s Automated Vehicle Work Group and the Unmanned Aerial Systems Work Group. VDOT has supported a strong innovative research program for more than 65 years. Its Virginia Transportation Research Council continues to build on this strong tradition by increasing emphasis on implementation of research findings.

Wednesday Morning Keynote: Bala Ganesh, PhD, Vice President, Advanced Technology Group, UPS

Bala Ganesh leads the Advanced Technology Group at UPS, overseeing efforts to apply cutting edge technologies to create UPS’ Smart Logistics Network. Ganesh previously directed marketing strategy for UPS’s retail and consumer goods segment. He joined UPS in 2012 as product manager supporting UPS My Choice and social media/mobile integration within the company’s Customer Technology Management group. Prior to joining UPS, Ganesh was responsible for strategy development and mergers and acquisitions with the healthcare procurement company, MedAssets. From 2006 to 2010, he led consulting project teams for McKinsey & Co. Ganesh has also worked as a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a PhD in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA. Early in his career, Bala was a pilot in the Indian Air Force.

Wednesday Noon Spotlight: Brad Whitby, Managing Director, Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Brad Whitby serves as the Managing Director of the Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS), the only National Science Foundation-sponsored research center focused on unmanned aircraft. The C-UAS is an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center whose academic institutions include BYU, University of Colorado, Virginia Tech, and Michigan. Texas A&M and Penn State are expected to join the Center in the coming year. The C-UAS has over 25 industry and government members who select and support dozens of university-led UAS research projects each year.

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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.

Torc and Daimler

Torc Robotics Announces New Jobs and Expansion in Blacksburg

Blacksburg, VATorc Robotics announces building expansion ground breaking at their Blacksburg headquarters to accommodate their growing team. Torc Robotics, a leader in self-driving vehicle systems, broke ground mid-August on a new headquarters expansion that will almost double the existing space. The 15,800-square-foot addition will serve Torc’s growing team, which is expected to expand significantly with Daimler Trucks’ pending acquisition of a majority stake in the Blacksburg-based company. Torc and Daimler Trucks, a division in the Daimler Group, the inventor of the truck and world’s largest manufacturer of heavy and medium trucks, recently announced that they would be joining forces in a one-of-a-kind combination to commercialize highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on U.S. roads. This acquisition, combined with Torc’s expanding commercial capabilities and additional strategic partnerships, is contributing to Blacksburg’s growing national reputation for technology prowess. This livable, high-tech community is home to hundreds of innovative technology firms, specializing in information technology, unmanned systems, biosciences, advanced manufacturing and more. The region is free from brutal commutes and high housing costs found in many tech hubs. Once the acquisition is complete, Torc will be part of the newly established Autonomous Technology Group—part of Daimler Trucks’ global effort to put highly automated trucks onto the roads within a decade. Torc will remain a separate entity, retaining its name and expanding its team, existing customer base and facilities in Blacksburg.
“A larger team will position us to meet the growing demand of our customers in the self-driving space and engage the trucking market. We are a passionate, tightly-knit team, motivated to save lives and transform transportation. We are looking forward to adding new Torc’rs.” – Michael Fleming, CEO of Torc
Torc’s current job openings include positions in active sensing and information fusion, self-driving behaviors, path planning, systems engineering, vehicle safety and testing, senior-level management, planning and operations. The forthcoming two-story building, which will accommodate the surge of new employees, will include offices, community rooms, garage bays and parking. It is expected to be completed by March 2020.
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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.
VT Drone Cage

Virginia Tech’s Drone Park Celebrates One Year

Montgomery County, VA – The Drone Park at Virginia Tech continues to create new opportunities across campus after being open for over a year.

The park opened last Spring as a result of the collaboration between the College of Engineering, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS). The 85-foot tall cage offers new resources to both users inside and outside of the university. Within the first year, over 2,000 people have utilized the park. The typical users are students building and testing custom drones or professors providing hands-on flight experience for their class. Additionally, you can find the university’s top-ranked drone racing team practicing their skills and the drone design team testing out drone-delivery systems.

“Faculty and students across the campus are working together to develop new opportunities for advancing research around unmanned aerial vehicles. As a leader in the development and testing of this technology, Virginia Tech continues to create field-based facilities and build research capacity and expertise for improving these important systems.”
– Cyril Clarke, VT Executive Vice President and Provost

The park offers the tallest flight space in the country and provides a unique “freespan” flight space made possible by steel cables holding the net up. The net provides an extra layer of safety for new pilots and experimental aircraft. The net also means the airspace is exempt from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines which enables researchers to test prototype aircraft and run tests like nighttime flights and fully automated missions that would be otherwise prohibited in open airspace. Additionally, the park provides resources for pilots at any level. They have a collection of aircraft for individuals just starting out and tools to modify aircraft as more experience pilots are practicing their skills. University Libraries has even launched a drone-lending program where students can check out aircraft to fly in the park.

Learn more about booking time at the drone park and park protocol HERE.

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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.

Drone Deliveries

First U.S. Drone Delivery Location Announced

Christiansburg, VA – Christiansburg will be the home to the first U.S. trial location for drone delivery.

Wing, a Google subsidiary, was the first the drone delivery system to receive the Air Carrier Certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They have also partnered with the Commonwealth of Virginia to work on federal, state, and local policies surrounding unmanned systems. Additionally, they collaborated with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) to conduct hundreds of drone deliveries to staff and students at Virginia Tech in 2016 and in 2017 as part of NASA and the FAA’s unmanned traffic management system testing.

“I believe unmanned technology has the potential to fundamentally transform our economy and our lives — and southwest Virginia is poised to be at the forefront.” – Senator Mark Warner

They have selected a location in Christiansburg off Welcome Street, near Lowe’s, however have not released what type of deliveries or what neighborhoods will receive the deliveries. Wing has stated that they plan to be launching by the end of the year, with hopes for the first launch coming this Fall.

The goal is to partner with local retailers to conduct deliveries through the use of an app where customers can place their order and then receive it at their doorstep in a small cardboard box. The company has said that the drone can fly up to 6 miles from the original location which means they could theoretically reach well beyond Interstate 81 to the south of its nest and north of the Drillfield on Tech’s campus.

Read more about all the cool partnerships Wing has in Australia and Finland, their existing locations, HERE.

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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.

cybersecurity

Commonwealth Cyber Initiative’s Network Certified

New River Valley – The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative’s (CCI) statewide network was certified this week by the Virginia Research Investment Committee. The goal of the CCI is to bring together the strengths of Virginia’s higher education institutions, industries, and government to collectively develop technologies and train talent in order to prevent cyber crimes.

cybersecurity

Four, university-led nodes were established engaging 320 faculty members across 39 higher education institutions, as well as 65 private companies, four federal partners, and 45 other regional partners. This platform will position Virginia to be a leader in the intersection of cybersecurity and data analytics, machine learning, and autonomous systems. Starting in 2020, Virginia has budgeted $20 million annually to support creating an ecosystem to generate cyber-related research, education, and statewide engagement.

“CCI is here to differentiate Virginia as a leader in cybersecurity education, research, and business startups – especially commercial startups,”

– Jeff Reed, Interim Executive Director, CCI

The program will establish two initiatives within the network, the CCI Fellows Program and a 5G test bed. The Fellows Program will focus on research and program development among faculty from across the state. This collaboration will also support the development and utilization of the 5G test bed. The test bed will provide the opportunity to develop and demonstrate cybersecurity technologies and solutions in order to get in front of potential security threats.

Now that the nodes have been certified, the next steps are to engage with the Virginia Research Investment Committee’s working group, regional leaders, and the broader network community to establish each node’s strategic plan. With Virginia Tech heading the southwest Virginia node, exciting opportunities lie ahead for the information technology and unmanned systems industries in the New River Valley.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.  

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  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.”