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September 18, 1998

Innovative manufacturing, plasma and photon processing, and Internet technology will be the focus of three new Centers of Excellence in Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) recently announced the selection of these three new Centers as the second-generation of CIT’s Technology Development Centers program. The new centers will host research and development efforts focused on existing and emerging technologies of importance to the growth of Virginia’s technology industry. The centers will develop technology, apply and commercialize the technology with industry partners and provide a rapid response capability to assist technology-based companies with short-term needs. Thirteen Technology Development Centers (TDCs) have been funded at Virginia state-supported universities since 1986. The TDCs have focused on such areas as fiber optics, composite materials, advanced computer technology, biotechnology and wireless communications. In

FY 1996, six of the centers generated 17 spin-off companies, more than 700 jobs and close to $50 million in new revenues and capital for their partner companies, according to CIT. Each new center is expected to receive between $1 million to $2 million over the course of five years. The 21st Century Manufacturing Innovation Center, located in Harrisonburg, is to enhance the capabilities of Virginia’s small and medium sized manufacturing firms. The center will concentrate on the development, application and transfer of computer based automation, integration and management in manufacturing.

The Center for Plasma and Photon Processing, located in Newport News, will advance the use of intelligent processes to control energy to create materials, structures and devices. Finally, the Internet Technology Innovation Center, located in Charlottesville, was formed to nurture Virginia’s entrepreneurial environment for information technology and Internet-based businesses.

For more information regarding the Technology Development Center Program, visit CIT’s website at http://www.cit.org.