RVATECH 2020 Policy Agenda
December 16, 2019
Innovation and Economic Development
Virginia’s technology industry is a growing portion of our economy, supporting hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs across the Commonwealth. Technology is driving innovation and economic development across all sectors, and it’s important we build on public policy that is making Virginia a national and global hub for the industry. Supporting entrepreneurs and spurring innovation is key to Virginia’s economic success. Innovation is what creates expanding opportunities for all Virginians. Research partnerships are critical to driving innovation. Business, education and government leaders must continue to work together to identify and reduce barriers to startups and growth, and create and support incubators, accelerators, innovation zones, and other tools that have proven successful in helping entrepreneurs translate research into commercially-viable businesses. According to TEConomy’s January 2018 report, Research-Asset Assessment Study, Virginia is behind peer states and the country in commercialization of research, technology innovation, and overall high-growth tech-enabled entrepreneurial success. It is important for the Commonwealth to support the entire life cycle of innovation, from translational research, to entrepreneurship, to pre-seed and seed stage funding, to acceleration, growth and commercialization, thereby enhancing Virginia’s tech-based economic development.
- RVATECH supports the governor’s efforts to align startup, innovation, research and commercialization efforts, including the creation of a new, consolidated Authority for innovation and tech-based economic development.
- RVATECH supports raising the cap on the Major Innovator R&D tax credit and the Major Research R&D tax credit.
- RVATECH supports maintaining Virginia’s competitive position as a global leader in the data center market by protecting the data center investment incentives.
Education & Workforce
In order for businesses to thrive, they need well-trained and highly skilled employees. Workforce skills drive innovation and support. RVATECH supports increased focus on STEM instruction at all levels of education, including K-12 and higher education. To recruit, retain, create, and grow jobs here in Virginia, our workforce must be trained and educated in these areas. RVATECH supports innovative partnerships to get students real-world learning experiences to be better positioned for gainful employment after finishing school.
- RVATECH supports increasing STEM work based learning by incentivizing Virginia businesses to provide additional opportunities for students.
- RVATECH supports efforts to increase the tech talent pipeline at Virginia universities.
Universal access to broadband is essential to every Virginian in order to compete in today’s global economy, Virginians need access to high speed Internet. Increasing access to high-speed internet will help individuals access more education opportunities and ultimately help spur innovation and entrepreneurism. We applaud the efforts of Governor Northam and the General Assembly to expand broadband for all Virginians.
- RVATECH supports the administration’s goal of universal broadband coverage in 10 years.
- RVATECH supports efforts state investments and other efforts to expand broadband access across the Commonwealth, including to schools, businesses, and homes.
- RVATECH supports using public-private partnerships that are technology agnostic and increase upload and download speeds to industry standards.
Information Technology Procurement
The Commonwealth is home to a vibrant industry of technology companies employing thousands of Virginians. Many of these technology companies offer high-value, innovative solutions increasing access to and improving the efficiency of our state government. It is essential the Commonwealth’s procurement process be open and transparent and promote a culture of creativity and competition.
- RVATECH supports efforts to make Virginia an attractive state for businesses to compete and supply agencies with innovative and cost-effective IT solutions.
- RVATECH opposes codifying unnecessary and burdensome requirements on IT vendors, which would require third party vendors to track employees and reveal sensitive data.