Virginia needs a cohesive strategy that integrates advanced industrial development with statewide job creation and economic sustainability. Creating an attractive environment for entrepreneurship, technology development, and job creation in the clean technology sector will require a collaborative effort by a broad variety of stakeholders. Such an effort will emphasize active listening, relationship building, consensus, and inclusion with attention to rural and inner city communities which have lagged behind other parts of Virginia.
We believe that such a strategy properly executed will attract investments for innovative clean technology businesses that will provide stable, long-term employment for Virginians.
Ascent Virginia plans to proceed in three phases:
Phase I (2018-2019)
Coalition Building & Blueprint for Action
In phase one, we will assemble a diverse group of stakeholders from private industry, government, nonprofits, universities and local communities. We will visit communities across Virginia to listen, gather input, identify requirements, and build a cooperative framework that reflects community needs, skills and challenges. The matrix below outlines some of the key stakeholders we intend to reach and invite into our coalition.
Through active listening and engagement we will then develop a blueprint for action based on feedback gathered from stakeholders.
Phase II (2019-2020)
Developing Critical Infrastructure
The second phase will include building a framework for success based on goals and stakeholder recommendations outlined in our blueprint for action. We will engage with stakeholders to create the foundation for a statewide cleantech economy. A few examples of activities may include:
Facilitating the creation of a joint university-community college consortium to educate and develop the needed workforce.
Assembling a public-private coalition of investors to develop a statewide clean technology investment fund.
Working with Virginia’s legislature to pass necessary legislation that builds on Virginia’s low-tax business climate.
Expanding internet and communication connectivity and infrastructure.
In short, this phase will focus on assembling all the critical pieces needed to attract and incentivize clean technology enterprises.
Phase III (2020-2030)
In the final phase Ascent Virginia will leverage partnerships and infrastructure to 1) attract clean technology businesses including startups, 2) engage investors to drive commercialization of new technologies, and 3) attract associated businesses to Virginia.
By 2030 we want Virginia to emerge as a leading clean technology hub that designs and builds the tools needed to power the planet’s clean energy economy.