At Virginia Tech, research on business and manufacturing processes involves faculty members and students in the Pamplin College of Business, College of Engineering, and College of Natural Resources working on issues ranging from marketing to moving goods. The university's Office for Economic Development also works with business to find expertise to address their problems. And there are management support services through VTKnowledgeWorks at the Virgina Tech Corporate Research Center.
The Business Technology Center (BTC) in the Pamplin College of Business provides quality and comprehensive business assistance services to emerging technology based organizations, including confidential strategic planning and business development assistance to both companies and individuals starting or expanding their business. BTC does not set a minimum or maximum limit to the services provided; serves as an on-going mentor to its clients; offers access to the most appropriate consultants; and provides these services in the interest of Virginia’s economic development. In many cases, the center is able to cover part of the costs incurred by its clients in order to help them take their business to the next level. The center is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation Inc.
Center for Global Electronic Commerce — As technology develops and as businesses face choices about its use, cost, and market impact, they need a combination of fundamental business capabilities and thorough understanding of technology in order to use that technology in their best interests. The Center for Global Electronic Commerce was created to bring together interdisciplinary expertise in business, the electronic and Internet environments, and information technology to address these contemporary business issues.
Other featured centers and groups:
Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech, a Sloan Foundation Industry Center
Problem: A successful firm needed to enter new markets with new products.
Solution: Develop the justification for expansion.
A small, profitable software development company had developed its current product for a particular market segment. While continuing to exploit this market, it also wanted to expand its business through new products and markets. It had some ideas for new products, such as an expense management software program. But the company lacked sufficient information about the market opportunities to make a decision.
The Business Technology Center (BTC) did the necessary market research to quantify the business opportunities. Through competitive/competitor analysis, the BTC was also able to define those markets where the company would have a sustainable competitive advantage for the new products. Finally, based on its findings, the BTC proposed a market entry and pricing strategy.
The results of the BTC study provided the company with the necessary information to justify its new product development effort.