Low-pressure partnership pairs emerging tech startups with Virginia government
Published: November 29, 2017
Big DataCybersecurityFREDERICKSBURG, CITY OF (FREDERICKSBURG CITY) (VIRGINIA)General Government ServicesINFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AGENCY, VIRGINIA (VIRGINIA)Information TechnologyPublic Private PartnershipsPublic UtilitiesSmall BusinessTransportation
A new alliance is expected to bolster the local technology economy and give commonwealth agencies access to a broader selection of tools.
The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) has announced that it will be working with the nonprofit Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), which the commonwealth believes will help connect emerging small and local technology businesses with the government and its partners. This is an expansion of VITA’s Innovation Center of Excellence (ICE) initiative, which is a mechanism for local businesses to introduce new ideas to Virginia’s state government.
Through this program, businesses are allowed to meet with government agency officials and show new technologies, without the pressure or expectation of necessarily making a sale. To date, ICE has hosted 15 demonstrations with more than 600 participants. These demonstrations have included technologies related to big data management, analytics, cybersecurity, and autonomous vehicles. In addition to VITA itself, various other entities have expressed interest in partnering, including the University of Virginia, the city of Fredericksburg, and Amherst and Page Counties.
Although the point is not necessarily to make a sale and no money is changing hands, it provides an opportunity for small and emerging businesses to demonstrate capabilities and build relationships. According to Nelson Moe, Virginia’s Chief Information Officer, “VITA has great contract vehicles, great access to other entities and agencies.” This program potentially could help these businesses get their feet wet and start the cash flow, while also allowing Virginia to see what products and technologies are available and what their capabilities are.