Last month, Bedford County and the Virginia Region 2000 Partnership announced the opening of the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER). Held August 25th, the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the fruition of a project that involved extensive regional collaboration over the course of several years.
With an overflowing parking lot, more than 100 public officials and business leaders attended the ceremony and got a first look at the new 30,000-square-foot facility. Businesses such as Babcock & Wilcox, Areva and Innovative Wireless Technologies, as well as the University of Virginia, have all secured space. The Region 2000 Partnership will continue to work toward securing more companies and organizations for the Center, which will be used 70% for research, 20% for community and outreach and 10% for administrative support.
Speaking on behalf of Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia’s Secretary of Technology Jim Duffy praised the partnerships that were fostered to open the center, and spoke of the “brightest minds” that will use the Center for research.
The goal of CAER is to be an industry-focused regional research and development center that drives the development of innovative products and processes by providing local access to university and federal research and inventions. It will target growth industries specific to the region, and will put university innovations into action through practical implementation in industry. CAER aims to increase the competitiveness for core, high-wage industries and improve the long-term prospects of existing industrial employers by creating a knowledge-based research hub for the region.
Bill Guzek of the CAER Board of Directors said, “The center is meant to be an economic engine for the region. This is just the beginning.”
More information regarding CAER can be found on their website.