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Working with Business and Industry

Virginia Tech’s efforts to solve society’s problems, improve quality of life, and keep the United States globally competitive require the speedy transfer of ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace. Working with business and industry is an essential characteristic of the Virginia Tech culture, and it is in the DNA of the university’s students and its 2,500 teaching and research faculty members, many of whom work to patent discoveries, start companies, and provide practical knowledge to the world.

Office of Sponsored Programs

OSP provides a comprehensive array of support services for faculty and staff as they pursue and manage external funding projects. The office also functions as the steward of Virginia Tech’s $450M research portfolio and its staff is responsible for ensuring that all research proposals and projects comply with university, federal, and sponsor regulations, policies, and procedures.

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Research Centers and Labs at Virginia Tech

A comprehensive list of the more than 100 research centers and labs at Virginia Tech, sorted by areas of research.

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Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties (VTIP)

VTIP facilitates the licensing of technology to companies, encourages new faculty startup ventures, works with publishers and distributors of software, and supports the transfer of research and knowledge to other universities, research institutes and companies.

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Partnerships with Industry

In 2013, Virginia Tech partnered in collaborative research projects at institutions in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Virginia Tech researchers participated in 307 projects as a primary collaborator, and 318 projects as a subcontracting collaborator.

General Information on Collaborative Research with Industry

There are two different types of collaboration: You can participate as a member of an industrial affiliate group and obtain research results on problems common to your industry, or you may sponsor your own research project to address a problem specific to your personal business. For more information, see the FAQs.

Industrial Affiliates Program

The industrial affiliate program is designed to optimize the flow of information between the university and the industrial affiliates, expose personnel to each other, provide the affiliates with access to students as potential future employees, and give the affiliates continual contact with creative university researchers.

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Sample Agreements

The Office of Sponsored Programs handles contracting. Sample agreements are provided for your review. If your research involves special requirements, we will work with you to arrive at mutually agreeable terms and conditions.


An overview of Virginia Tech’s policies and procedures for performing research for industry is provided in Frequently Asked Questions.



Need additional information about working with business or industry, or just want to talk to someone?

  • For general information about working with business and industry, contact Srinath Ekkad, Associate Vice President for Research,
  • For information about Confidentiality Agreements or Material Transfer Agreements, contact
  • For information about export control, contact David Brady, (540) 231-3801
  • For information about sponsored reasearch, see the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) website

Research Deans

Each college has a research dean who is familiar with research in that college and can help you connect with a faculty member doing research relevant to your interests.

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences: Saied Mostaghimi, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, 540-231-6336
  • Architecture & Urban Studies: Robert Schubert, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, 540- 231-5607
  • Office of Economic Development (http://www. John Provo, Director, 540-231- 4004
  • Engineering: Jack Lesko, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, 540-231-9171
  • Liberal Arts and Human Sciences: Tom Ewing, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, 540-231-3212
  • Natural Resources: Thomas Olson, Assistant Dean, 540-231-5484
  • Pamplin College of Business: Kent Nakamoto, Associate Dean for Research and Department Head, 540-231-6949
  • Science: Randy Heflin, Associate Dean, 540-231- 4504
  • Veterinary Medicine: Roger Avery, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, 540-231-5649