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W&M, VIMS projects receive CRCF support

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced 38 Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) awards totaling more than $2.8 million to fund targeted areas of promising research and commercialization, including advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and energy and life sciences.

The announcement included projects at William & Mary and W&M's Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

 “The CRCF program advances research with potential for economic growth in Virginia,” McAuliffe said in making the announcement. “In order to compete with other states and globally, we must focus on early stage economic development. These investments are planting seeds that are helping us grow the new Virginia economy.”

Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson added, “CRCF provides seed funding necessary to advance cutting-edge research and promote the commercialization of exciting new technologies.” 

Managed by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), the CRCF is aligned with and guided by the Commonwealth Research and Technology (R&T) Strategic Roadmap. During this round, applications were invited under six programs — Commercialization, Eminent Researcher Recruitment, Facilities Enhancement, Matching Funds, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Matching Funds and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Funds — to support the private sector, academia and nonprofit research institutes across the state.

Gang ZhouBoth William & Mary projects funded were under the Matching Funds program:

Gang Zhou, associate professor in William & Mary’s Department of Computer Science, was awarded $99,998 for his project “Reducing Smartphone Application Delay through Read/Write Isolation.” Zhou is a 2015 recipient of a Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, recognizing exemplary achievement in teaching, research and service.

Kirk Havens, assistant director of the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS, was awarded $83,971 for the project titled “Eliminating Plastic Shotgun Wads as a Source of Harmful Aquatic Debris.”

Kirk HavensThe complete list, along with award recipients from previous solicitations, can also be accessed at

A press release announcing the awards noted that the program supports the Commonwealth’s overall plan to maximize the return on investment of taxpayer dollars and to enhance economic development. CRCF awards must further the goals set forth in the Commonwealth Research and Technology (R&T) Strategic Roadmap, a comprehensive planning tool the Commonwealth uses to identify research areas worthy of economic development and institutional focus. It provides elected and other officials with priorities in key industry sectors that have commercial promise and that are eligible for new CRCF awards, the release said.

Guiding the development of the Roadmap and oversight of the CRCF, including by making CRCF award recommendations to the CIT Board, is the Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee (RTIAC), comprising university, industry and economic development experts.