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WV science and tech plan outlines recommendations to grow state’s economy

July 01, 2021

West Virginia has updated its Vision 2025: West Virginia Science & Technology Plan (S&T Plan), which identifies four areas (life sciences, computer and data science, advanced manufacturing, and advanced energy) representing significant and growing university-based research and educational activities that align with the state’s target industries and workforce development goals. 

The plan is updated every five years and this latest update aims to develop the state’s STEM talent pipeline, expand the research enterprise, catalyze more innovation and entrepreneurship activity, and support the growth of high-tech companies.

In order to build on goals established in the plan, a set of recommended actions are set forth. For example, to increase the STEM talent pipeline, the plan recommends a continued focus on expanding K-12 STEM mentoring and research opportunities for teachers and students, and partnering with companies and federal labs to increase internships. To increase innovation and entrepreneurship within the state, the plan calls for West Virginia to pilot an R&D voucher program, as well as recommending state support for the SBA Federal and State Technology (FAST) program, which provides one year of program funding to provide outreach, technical assistance, and financial support to help increase SBIR/STTR applications and award rates.

The plan, developed by RTI International and Keen Point Consulting in collaboration with the West Virginia Science and Research Council working group, was adopted by the Higher Education Policy Commission earlier this month. The full plan is available here.

West Virginiascience, technology, economic development, strategic plan