The CAER is working with the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance (LRBA) on a new Tech Based Economic Development(TBED) plan for the region. The key recommendations of this plan are summarized below:

  1. Establish the position of innovation ecosystem builder for the region. This position would provide a clear point of contact for addressing TBED initiatives and issues.
  2. STEM Workforce – support leadership of VA Career Works and CVCC in the region
    • Prioritize and strengthen relationships with regional partners (LU, SBC, RC, UL, STEM Academy, others)
    • Leverage industry partnerships to expand capacity for workforce training and development; e.g. capstone and work-based learning (WBL) projects for target sectors
    • develop a strong understanding of the science and technologies in the region
  3. Entrepreneurship – use physical spaces to build community
    • Establish a regional entrepreneurial center – EPIC Center
    • Repurposing of LBDC facility
    • Support for local maker space and co-working space organizations
    • Create a technology advisory group (E-TAG) for LRBA
    • Develop and maintain mentorship network of subject matter experts (SME’s)
  4. Access to Capital – focus on education of opportunities and connecting to resources
    • Promote education and awareness of investment opportunities and process
    • Collaborate with Valley Innovation Council on a regional TBED funding network
    • Establish a regional revolving loan fund
    • Develop and maintain a proactive grants opportunity database
  5. R&D and Commercialization – build and maintain networks
    • Develop and maintain a database of regional companies in the key target sector clusters
    • Identify and support initiatives that build targeted Technology Centers