BAE Systems DARPA

BAE Systems Is Pioneering Defense Autonomy

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Autonomous technologies are a lot more visible in 2018 than they were decades ago, but they were definitely still around. In fact, NRV Company BAE Systems was (and still is) leading the charge.

BAE Systems has been working on advanced automated technologies for over 20 years. It is the top provider for almost every significant U.S. Department of Defense program. BAE was even the first developer of the technology used in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Join Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) program.

Now BAE has expanded to other areas and continues to make great strides in the unmanned systems industry.

For more information, check out “BAE Systems A Pioneer of Autonomy Technologies for More Than 20 Years” on the BAE Systems website.

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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.

first residential drone delivery

First Residential Drone Delivery Completed in Montgomery County

Virginia’s New River Valley – Two-year-old Jackson Smith from Montgomery County received a very special delivery last Tuesday: a popsicle. But this popsicle was inside what is considered the most advanced drone package delivery in America.

After the Smith family clicked “Confirm Order” on an app, a drone flew 1.4 miles from a simulated “store” to deliver the goods. Instead of the drone touching back down in a residential area, it lowered the package using a tether. According to Bloomberg the whole process took about six minutes.

The demonstration was conducted by Wing, a subsidiary of Google, a Virginia Tech’s Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership. It was an FAA-approved test under the U.S. government’s Integration Pilot Program.

Wing hopes to commercially launch this kind of program in the future.

For more information, check out coverage from Bloomberg or 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.

MELD Manufacturing Corporation Awarded RAPID + TCT Innovation Award for Patented MELD Technology

The accolade recognizes technological advancement in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industries

FROM MELD, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VA – On Thursday, April 26, 2018, MELD Manufacturing Corporation was selected from the more than 300 exhibitors at RAPID + TCT 2018 as the recipient of the Innovation Award. RAPID + TCT, a 3D printing and additive manufacturing event that draws industry leaders from around the globe, is North America’s preeminent event for 3D manufacturing. This year’s show, hosted in Fort Worth, Texas, saw live demonstrations and speakers representing a variety of recognizable institutions, from FIAT/Chrysler and Caterpillar to Lockheed Martin and the United States Army Research Laboratory. The Innovation Award recognizes the most groundbreaking new product or service with industry-changing potential.

MELD Manufacturing Corporation, which was launched earlier this month as a subsidiary of Aeroprobe Corporation, was selected for the award for their patented MELD technology. MELD is a unique process for additive manufacturing that avoids melting the metal, thereby eliminating the weaknesses and other issues associated with melt-based processes. MELD’s open-atmosphere operation and scalable equipment also make it more efficient and capable of making larger parts than similar processes. In addition to additive manufacturing, MELD can be used to repair, coat, and join a wide range of materials, including some metals that cannot be welded with traditional processes.

“The MELD technology is a revolution,” noted MELD Manufacturing Corporation CEO Nanci Hardwick. “To be recognized at RAPID by these industry leaders demonstrates just how much potential MELD has to change the way we think about manufacturing. We want to see MELD adopted across industries, so it’s exciting to see genuine interest from such a diverse crowd.”

The winner of the Innovation Award is selected by a panel of industry experts. This year’s group included judges from industry, government, and academia.

To earn this award our first year at RAPID is an honor,” said MELD Additive Manufacturing Manager Chase Cox. “MELD is on its way to innovating a number of industries and this award is a great milestone.

After finishing up at RAPID + TCT, MELD will launch into a busy conference season, including participation in AeroMat in Florida and MegaRust in California in May alone. For customers anxious to learn more about the MELD technology, the company is currently offering machines sales, contract manufacturing, and a variety of other services.

Visit www.meldmanufacturing.com for more information.

CONTACT:
Ryan Davis
ryan.davis@meldmanufacturing.com
200 Technology Drive
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Ph: +1-540-950-3980 x 4226

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MELD Manufacturing Corporation holds more than a dozen patents for MELD technology, an innovative process for additive manufacturing, coating, joining, and repairing metals and metal matrix composites. MELD offers the power to build parts in solid state, thereby avoiding the issues associated with melting. The technology is also open-atmosphere, meaning no special vacuums or chambers are needed for operation. The MELD equipment is scalable and can produce parts much larger than similar processes. MELD Manufacturing Corporation offers MELD machines sales, contract manufacturing, and consulting services. Learn more at www.meldmanufacturing.com.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

NRV Company TORC Is Disrupting the Auto Industry

If you haven’t heard, automated and driverless technology is thriving in Virginia’s New River Valley.

That’s right, NRV Company TORC and their revolutionary technology are disrupting the auto industry. Founded in 2005, TORC continues to create and refine self-driving technology for varying environments, from city street bustle to off-road adventure.

TORC actively works with mining and defense parters to minimize risk, meaning companies like Caterpillar are able to eliminate liability in dangerous work environments thanks to TORC’s innovation.

TORC Company Overview Video

This inventive company, founded by Virginia Tech students, hit the cover of Virginia Business this month with their groundbreaking technology.

“As the automotive industry moves us tantalizingly closer to a sci-fi future of roadways thrumming with such self-driving cars, Virginia has positioned itself as a hotbed for developing and testing autonomous vehicle technologies,” said Richard Foster, Virginia Business writer. “This is in large part due to innovative research work coming out of state universities such as Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, as well as companies like Torc.”

Resources in the NRV like Virginia Tech and VTTI, and companies like TORC, are making unmanned systems research and production possible.

It looks like this disruptive technology is our future.

“If you think about it,” said TORC CEO Michael Fleming, “automobiles have been designed around the driver for the last 100 years. And one of the things that really excites me is, over the next 100 years, we’re going to design cars around passengers, because the driver is going to be a computer…”

Click here to read the full Virginia Business cover story.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

Volvo, Advanced Manufacturing, Virginia's New River Valley

New Brochures Showcase NRV Industries

New River Valley, VA – Onward NRV has officially published new brochures that showcase the region’s competitive advantages in: Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Food Processing & Agribusiness, and Unmanned Systems.

Through a comprehensive study with the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development, Onward NRV identified four key clusters to support and grow in the region. A targeted approach ensures that resources are focused on clusters with the greatest local competitive advantage and return on investment for the region. These clusters, and their corresponding niches, funnel new money into the region, offer higher wages and equitable career pathways, and have strong growth forecasts.

Each of the brochures is an overview of the industry and is packed with information that’s helpful for people looking to live, work, and do business in Virginia’s New River Valley. The brochures incorporate the River Stone branding and feature notable accolades, higher education assets, quotes from regional leaders, business advantages, and photos from the NRV.

“These brochures are the culmination of our regional branding and targeted industry initiatives,” said Executive Director Charlie Jewell. “Not only do they look fantastic, but they also embody the spirit of the people and the companies in our region. They’re full of substantial information and will help us raise the visibility of the New River Valley as a hub for these industries.”

See the NRV targeted industry brochures on the Targeted Industry page, or the drop down menu in the regional website header.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

Roanoke Times: NRV to Lure Robots to Town as Autonomous Industry Booms

BLACKSBURG, VA– The NRV begins training part of its focus on the Unmanned Systems industry with a tour of Virginia Tech’s new drone cage and the Smart Road at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute at the end of a conference hosted by the Ridge and Valley chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Photos by Matt Gentry, Roanoke Times

Read more from regional leaders like John Provo, director of the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development; Charlie Jewell, executive director of Onward NRV; and Michael Fleming, CEO of TORC Robotics in the full Roanoke Times article.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

NRV #10 in High-Tech Employment Concentration

New River Valley, VA – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) is the 10th most concentrated metro for number of jobs in high-tech industry, according to an analysis by Select USA. Of jobs in the NRV, 24.5% are in the high-tech industry. According to the analysis, high tech jobs are those that, “rely heavily on a skilled and educated workforce, act as innovative producers in our economy, and create and utilize advanced technologies.”


Because of the current base of technologically advanced jobs in the NRV and the region’s suitability for hosting this job market, Information Technology is one of the target industries of focus for the NRV. Our focus on Information Technology can be broken down into 4 sub-categories: Software Development, IT Support Services, Cybersecurity, and Digital Creatives. High-tech jobs also fall under other targeted industries in the NRV like Unmanned Systems and Advanced Manufacturing.


Virginia’s New River Valley has some of the best access to talent in tech industries. Considering it is a great place to live with a more affordable, down-to-earth culture, and exceptional access to research and innovation, the NRV is a natural fit for growing high-tech companies.


For more information about the Select USA high-tech industry study, click here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.