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Universities and the Development of Industry Clusters:
Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech)/ New River Valley

October 2004                                                                                                                                  

In 2004, the United States Economic Development Administraton release a report titled, "Universities and the Development of Industry Clusters."   This research established a foundation for a critical review of the role of the university in cluster development. It assessed both the factors of the university and the factors of the cluster that are vital to successful university-industry cluster development.

This report was prepared using a case study strategy. Quantitative data was collected for universities, metropolitan areas and counties in order to develop a sample frame for the selection of the cases.  The literature review identified the criteria that for the selection of  cases that represented conditions and outcomes. For each case, the project team collected a variety of secondary data, analysis and reports and conducted 15 to 20 interviews with university and regional representatives for each of the eight cases.

One of the case study universities was Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech)/ New River Valley.  The report found that the presence of Virginia Tech had led to the creation of small software,
engineering, and other technology companies located in Blacksburg. The university is working to upgrade technology in a wider area of southwest Virginia, but found that these efforts were still in the development stages.

View Case Study:

U.S. Economic Development Administration, Universities and the Development of Industry Clusters, 2004.

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