Tackling Virginia’s Challenges.

To further our core mission of advising the Commonwealth, we have established relationships with members of Virginia’s General Assembly. The Joint Commission on Technology and Science authorized VASEM to produce two in-depth studies for the legislature. The first report was on prospects for the commercial space and unmanned aerial vehicle industries in Virginia and the second was on the impact of climate change on Virginia’s coastal areas. We also produce a key strategies publication, outlining opportunities for state leadership in technical fields.

 

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Studies

The Impact on Climate Change on Virginia’s Coastal Areas

JCOTS asked VASEM to study the “safety, quality of life, and economic consequences of weather and climate-related events on coastal areas in Virginia.” After conducting its investigations, the expert committee found that climate change will have an increasingly disruptive effect on people living in Virginia’s coastal areas during the 21st century—and that these disruptions will have repercussions not just on the coasts but throughout the Commonwealth. An important finding of the report was that the consequences of these changes will be very different for rural and urban areas.

The expert committee issued several recommendations that included creating a state-wide body to coordinate and support critical data collection and technology transfer across the Commonwealth.

Aerospace in Virginia: An Opportunity for Economic Growth

At the request of JCOTs, the Virginia Academy undertook a study of the aerospace industry in Virginia. After holding a series of all-day sessions and interviews with a score of stakeholders, the expert committee identified two growth areas— commercial space and unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—that held high promise for Virginia.

The expert committee found that these areas were among the fastest-growing segments of the aerospace industry, generating thousands of well-paying jobs, both directly and indirectly, and producing substantial growth for states encouraging their development. They determined that Virginia had compelling assets in both commercial space and UAS that could position it for leadership in these areas and made a series of policy recommendations to accelerate the development of these industries in the Commonwealth.

Looking Ahead

Key Strategies to Position Virginia for leadership in areas of Critical National Challenge

VASEM has not limited itself to projects proposed by other sources. In 2021, we took the initiative to develop a key strategy document, identifying five promising areas, such as sustainable energy production and semiconductors, in which the Commonwealth has the fundamental resources and expertise to achieve national prominence. We are currently in the process of updating and reissuing our report.