Council urges policies and investments focused on diversifying Virginia's technology economy
On Jan. 4, the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) – the largest technology council in the nation – sent letters to all members of the Virginia General Assembly and to Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Cabinet members and other senior officials of the McDonnell administration outlining NVTC's 2013 legislative priorities. The letter highlights the importance of further advancing the gains Virginia has made in building a globally branded technology business climate by passing 2013 budget and policy actions that strengthen and diversify Virginia's technology economy.
Specifically, NVTC's 2013 Legislative Agenda urges policymakers to maintain current annual funding for Virginia's Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) at $4.2 million, for the CIT GAP Funds at $3.8 million, and for Virginia's R&D tax credit at $5 million; increase funding for the Virginia Angel Investment Tax Credit; and provide additional state support for university research and commercialization efforts.
NVTC also outlines policies that will leverage Virginia's federal, state and private sector assets to position and promote Virginia as the go-to location for cybersecurity, big data, cloud-focused businesses and other sectors where the Commonwealth has a competitive advantage. As part of this initiative, the association suggests investing state funds to launch the nation's first cybersecurity accelerator focused on cybersecurity company creation and directing $5 million from Virginia's FACT Fund to stimulate cybersecurity research among universities and industry in the Commonwealth.
In addition, NVTC calls on legislators to boost Virginia's technology workforce by emphasizing high-income, high-demand sectors – such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and analytics – throughout the education pipeline. Specifically, NVTC recommends providing incentives and additional compensation to help attract and retain quality STEM teachers, continuing implementation of incentive-driven funding to advance Virginia's Top Jobs initiative, and launching a targeted workforce initiative to train and find jobs for veterans returning from active duty in Virginia.
NVTC also asks legislators to improve commute times and reduce traffic delays by addressing Virginia's transportation challenges, utilizing intelligent transportation solutions and promoting telework. Finally, in order to ensure Virginia maintains its status as a top state for business, NVTC urges policymakers to minimize taxes and regulation, preserve right to work and avoid negative signals that drive private enterprise away from the Commonwealth.
The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) is the membership and trade association for the technology community in Northern Virginia. As the largest technology council in the nation, NVTC serves about 1,000 companies from all sectors of the technology industry, as well as service providers, universities, foreign embassies, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies. Through its member companies, NVTC represents about 200,000 employees in the region. NVTC is recognized as the nation's leader in providing its technology community with networking and educational events; specialized services and benefits; public policy advocacy; branding of its region as a major global technology center; initiatives in targeted business sectors and in the international, entrepreneurship, workforce and education arenas; the Equal Footing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that serves local area youth; and The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC, which mentors new technology entrepreneurs. Visit NVTC at www.nvtc.org.