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Alliance aims to support innovation in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region

Three organizations in the Roanoke and New River valleys will work together to support the region’s innovation economy and technology community.

Valleys Innovation Council, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council and the Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program (RAMP) announced Wednesday they have formed an alliance.

“This alliance creates a welcoming regional ‘front door’ from all three groups,” said Greg Feldmann, who will serve as CEO of the yet-to-be named partnership.

The goal is to take a more holistic approach to efforts already underway and enhance ways to attract interest and funding for the region’s existing and budding industry clusters.

Targeted sectors include autonomous systems, cybersecurity, blockchain, information technology, advanced manufacturing and health and life sciences.

The new alliance aims to better connect the region’s technology community and support groups to innovators, founders and funders. It will also work to partner regional businesses, entrepreneurial support groups, educational institutions and local, state and federal governments.

Day-to-day operations of the groups will continue largely as normal, with John Phillips remaining as president of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council and Mary Miller as director of RAMP.

With Feldmann overseeing the alliance, the plan is to better mobilize resources, advocate for changes and track progress toward the goal.

The alliance is closely aligned with state initiatives focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, such as the GO Virginia program and the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority. It is expected to create the type of regional organization the state wants to partner with in efforts to grow high-wage jobs and drive growth of technology, from startups to established companies.

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