Authorities

Authorities
11/30/2020

Innovation Partnership Authority, Commonwealth of Virginia

§ 2.2-2351. Short title; declaration of public purpose

A. This article shall be known and may be cited as the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovation Partnership Act.

B. It is found and determined by the General Assembly that there exists in the Commonwealth a need to support the life cycle of innovation, from translational research; to entrepreneurship; to pre-seed and seed stage funding; and to acceleration, growth, and commercialization, resulting in the creation of new jobs and company formation. A collaborative, consistent, and consolidated approach will assist the Commonwealth in identifying its entrepreneurial strengths, including the identification of talents and resources that make the Commonwealth a unique place to grow and attract technology-based businesses. It is also found and determined by the General Assembly that there exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia a need to (i) promote the technology-based economic development of the Commonwealth by building, attracting, and retaining innovation and high-technology jobs and businesses in Virginia; (ii) increase industry competitiveness by supporting the application of innovative technologies that improve productivity and efficiency; (iii) attract and provide additional private and public funding in the Commonwealth to enhance and expand the scientific and technological research and commercialization at state and federal research institutions and facilities, including by supporting and working with technology transfer offices to advance research from proof-of-concept to commercialization resulting in new business and job creation; (iv) attract and provide additional private and public funding to support and enhance innovation-led entrepreneurship ecosystems and coordination of existing activities and programs throughout the Commonwealth to create new job opportunities and diversify the economy; (v) ensure promotion and marketing of Virginia's statewide innovation economy and support and coordinate regional marketing efforts to align local and statewide objectives; and (vi) close the Commonwealth's support gap through pre-seed and seed stage investments, coordination of private investor networks, and shared due diligence research.

C. To achieve the objectives set forth in subsection B, there is created and constituted a political subdivision of the Commonwealth to be known as the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority. The Authority's exercise of powers conferred by this article shall be deemed to be the performance of an essential governmental function and matters of public necessity for which public moneys may be spent and private property acquired. Nothing in this article shall be construed to diminish or limit the powers and responsibilities of institutions of higher education or other educational or cultural institutions set forth in Title 23.1, including but not limited to such institution's authority to establish its own independent policies and technology transfer offices.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2352. Definitions

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authority" means the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority.

"Board" means the board of directors of the Authority.

"Founder" means a person who founds a company.

"Founder-friendly" means policies related to the transactional process of the development of technology, from research to commercialization, that are fair, transparent, and designed to enable the success of an inventor and business owner as the business grows.

"Index" means the Virginia Innovation Index.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2353. Board of directors; members; president

A. The Authority shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of 11 voting members as follows: (i) the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, or his designee; (ii) six nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor; (iii) three nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Joint Rules Committee; and (iv) one director of technology transfer office or equivalent position from a major research public institution of higher education, appointed by the Joint Rules Committee.

B. Of the nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor, (i) two nonlegislative citizen members shall be from the investor community with experience as a partner in a venture capital fund with a minimum of $35 million under management or experience qualifying as an accredited investor, as defined by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, who have experience investing, as an individual or as part of an angel group, in 10 or more early stage companies; (ii) two nonlegislative citizen members shall be from the technology sector with experience (a) as a founder of a science-based or technology-based business and who have raised equity capital or (b) as a senior executive in a science or technology company with operations in Virginia and with annual revenues in excess of $100 million; and (iii) two nonlegislative citizen members shall have experience acquiring or commercializing intellectual property through private research or experience acquiring or commercializing intellectual property from a university or other research institution. Of the nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Joint Rules Committee, two nonlegislative citizen members shall have experience in entrepreneurial development or entrepreneurial community and network development. In making the appointments, the Governor and the Joint Rules Committee shall consider the geographic and demographic diversity of the Board.

C. 1. After an initial staggering of terms, members of the Board shall serve terms of four years. No member shall be eligible to serve more than two terms. Any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired term. A person appointed to fill a vacancy may be appointed to serve two additional terms. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be citizens of the Commonwealth.

2. Ex officio members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office.

D. Members of the Board shall receive such compensation for the performance of their duties as provided in § 2.2-2813. Members shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Funding for the costs of compensation and expenses of the members shall be provided by the Authority.

E. The Board shall elect a chairman from the nonlegislative citizen members of the Board, and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade shall serve as the vice-chairman. The Board shall elect a secretary and a treasurer, who need not be members of the Board, and may also elect other subordinate officers, who need not be members of the Board. The Board may also form advisory committees, which may include representatives who are not members of the Board, to undertake more extensive study on issues before the Board.

F. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the Authority's business, and no vacancy in the membership shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise the rights and perform all duties of the Authority. The Board shall meet at least quarterly or at the call of the chairman.

G. The Board shall appoint a president of the Authority, who shall not be a member of the Board who shall serve at the pleasure of the Board and carry out such powers and duties conferred upon him by the Board.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2354. Powers and duties of the president

The president shall employ or retain such agents or employees subordinate to the president as may be necessary to fulfill the duties of the Authority conferred upon the president, subject to the Board's approval. Employees of the Authority shall be eligible for membership in the Virginia Retirement System and participation in all of the health and related insurance and other benefits, including premium conversion and flexible benefits, available to state employees as provided by law. The president shall also exercise such of the powers and duties relating to the direction of the Commonwealth's research and commercialization efforts conferred upon the Authority as may be delegated to him by the Board, including powers and duties involving the exercise of discretion. The president shall also exercise and perform such other powers and duties as may be lawfully delegated to him or as may be conferred or imposed upon him by law.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2355. Powers of the Authority

The Authority is granted all powers necessary or convenient for the carrying out of its statutory purposes, including, but not limited to, the following rights and powers to:

1. Sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and complain and defend in all courts. Nothing herein shall be construed to waive any applicable immunity enjoyed by the Authority.

2. Adopt, use, and alter at will a corporate seal.

3. Acquire, purchase, hold, use, lease, or otherwise dispose of any project and property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the Authority, and, without limitation of the foregoing, to lease as lessee, any project and any property, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein, at such annual rental and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board and to lease as lessor to any person, any project and any property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, at any time acquired by the Authority, whether wholly or partially completed, at such annual rental and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board, and to sell, transfer, or convey any property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible or any interest therein, at any time acquired or held by the Authority on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board.

4. Plan, develop, undertake, carry out, construct, improve, rehabilitate, repair, furnish, maintain, and operate projects.

5. Adopt bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

6. Establish and maintain an office in Richmond to serve as headquarters for the Authority. The Authority may also establish and maintain satellite offices within the Commonwealth.

7. Fix, alter, charge, and collect rates, rentals, and other charges for the use of projects of, or for the sale of products of or for the services rendered by, the Authority, at rates to be determined by it for the purpose of providing for the payment of the expenses of the Authority, the planning, development, construction, improvement, rehabilitation, repair, furnishing, maintenance, and operation of its projects and properties, the payment of the costs accomplishing its purposes set forth in § 2.2-2351, the payment of the principal of and interest on its obligations, and the fulfillment of the terms and provisions of any agreements made with the purchasers or holders of any such obligations.

8. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties, the furtherance of its purposes, and the execution of its powers under this article, including agreements with any person or federal agency.

9. Employ, in its discretion, consultants, researchers, attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and such other employees and agents as may be necessary, and to fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available to the Authority.

10. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants to be expended in accomplishing the objectives of the Authority and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any state, and any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof and from any other source, aid or contributions of either money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied only for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made.

11. Render advice and assistance, and provide services, to institutions of higher education and to other persons providing services or facilities for scientific and technological research or graduate education, provided that credit toward a degree, certificate, or diploma shall be granted only if such education is provided in conjunction with an institution of higher education authorized to operate in Virginia.

12. Develop, undertake, and provide programs, alone or in conjunction with any person or federal agency, for scientific and technological research, technology management, continuing education, and in-service training, provided that credit toward a degree, certificate, or diploma shall be granted only if such education is provided in conjunction with an institution of higher education authorized to operate in Virginia; foster the utilization of scientific and technological research information, discoveries, and data and to obtain patents, copyrights, and trademarks thereon; to encourage the coordination of the scientific and technological research efforts of public institutions and private industry and collect and maintain data on the development and utilization of scientific and technological research capabilities.

13. Pledge or otherwise encumber all or any of the revenues or receipts of the Authority as security for all or any of the obligations of the Authority.

14. Receive, administer, and market any interest in patents, copyrights, and materials that are potentially patentable or copyrightable developed by or for state agencies, public institutions of higher education, and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

15. Develop the Index, pursuant to § 2.2-2360, to use to identify research areas worthy of Commonwealth investment in order to promote commercialization and economic development efforts in the Commonwealth.

16. Foster innovative partnerships and relationships among the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth's institutions of higher education, the private sector, federal labs, and not-for-profit organizations to improve research and development of commercialization efforts.

17. Receive and review annual reports from institutions and facilities regarding the progress of projects funded through the Authority. The Authority shall develop guidelines, methodologies, metrics, and criteria for the reports. The Authority shall aggregate the reports and submit an annual omnibus report on the status of research and development initiatives funded by the Authority in the Commonwealth to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, and the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.

18. Administer grant, loan, and investment programs as authorized by this article. The Authority shall develop guidelines, subject to the approval of the Board, for the application, review, and award of grants, loans, and investments under the provisions of this article. These guidelines shall address, at a minimum, the application process and, where appropriate, shall give special emphasis to fostering collaboration and partnership among institutions of higher education and partnerships between institutions of higher education and business and industry.

19. Establish and administer, through any nonstock, nonprofit corporation established by the Authority, investment funds that may accept funds from any source, public or private, to support venture capital activities in the Commonwealth. The administration of any such investment fund shall be advised by the Advisory Committee on Investment created pursuant to § 2.2-2358.

20. Report on all investment activities of the Authority, and any entity established by the Authority, including returns on investments, to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, and the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.

21. Exclusively, or with any other person, form and otherwise develop, own, operate, govern, and otherwise direct the disposition of assets of, or any combination thereof, separate legal entities, on any such terms and conditions and in any such manner as may be determined by the Board, provided that such separate legal entities shall be formed solely for the purpose of managing and administering any assets disposed of by the Authority. Such legal entities may include limited liability companies, limited partnerships, charitable foundations, real estate holding companies, investment holding companies, nonstock corporations, and benefit corporations. Any legal entities created by the Authority shall be operated under the governance of the Authority, and each shall provide quarterly performance reports to the Board. The articles of incorporation, partnership, or organization for such legal entities shall provide that, upon dissolution, the assets of the entities that are owned on behalf of the Commonwealth shall be transferred to the Authority. Any legal entity created pursuant to this subdivision shall ensure that the economic benefits attributable to the income and property rights arising from any transaction in which the entity is involved are allocated based on the reasonable business judgment of the Board, with due account being given to the interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth and the needs of the entity. No legal entity shall be deemed to be a state or government agency, advisory agency, public body, or instrumentality of the Commonwealth. No director, officer, or employee of any such legal entity shall be deemed to be an officer or employee for purposes of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.) solely by virtue in his capacity as a director, officer, or employee of such legal entity. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Auditor of Public Accounts or his legally authorized representative shall annually audit the financial accounts of the Authority and any such legal entities.

22. Provide leadership for strategic initiatives that explore and shape programs designed to attract and grow innovation in the Commonwealth. Such leadership may include (i) seeking, or supporting others in seeking, federal grants, contracts, or other funding sources that advance the exploration functions of the Authority's public purpose; (ii) assuming responsibility for forward-looking technology assessment and market vision around strategic initiatives and partnerships with federal and local governments; (iii) taking a leading role in defining, promoting, and implementing forward-looking technology market and industry development policies and processes that advance innovation and entrepreneurial activity and the assimilation of technology; (iv) contracting with federal and private entities to further innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth; and (v) conducting limited-scale commercialization pilot projects based on identified strategic initiatives to promote the industry or commercial development of specific technologies or interests.

23. Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted to it by law.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2356. Designation of staff of not-for-profit entity

A. The Board may designate the president and staff of a not-for-profit entity established pursuant to this article to carry out the day-to-day operations and activities of the Authority and to perform such other duties as may be directed by the Board.

B. The president shall employ or retain such agents or employees subordinate to the president as may be necessary to fulfill the duties of the Authority and the not-for-profit entity designated herein. Employees shall be eligible for membership in the Virginia Retirement System and participation in all of the health and related insurance and other benefits, including premium conversion and flexible benefits, available to state employees as provided by law.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2357. Division of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

A. Within the Authority shall be created a Division of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (the Division) to support and promote technology-based entrepreneurial activities in the Commonwealth. The Division shall have the authority to (i) connect regional entrepreneurial support services; (ii) administer the Regional Innovation Fund (the Fund); (iii) coordinate marketing efforts between statewide and regional campaigns; (iv) establish entrepreneurs in residence to align local needs with state initiatives and funds; (v) compile, maintain, and promote an information portal of available public and private funding vehicles; and (vi) perform any other duties assigned by the Board. In performing such duties and responsibilities, the Division may (a) seek to build networks between regional entrepreneur support services; (b) facilitate state-wide information sharing and exchange of ideas and best practices; (c) establish a portal to highlight the availability of regional entrepreneurial support services; (d) aggregate information from national, regional, and local sources and promote available public and private funding vehicles; and (e) undertake any other activities or provide any other services relative to the purpose of the Division.

B. The Division shall be advised by an Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, to be appointed by the Board.

C. The Division may partner with the GO Virginia regional councils to offer resources and expertise related to entrepreneurial ecosystem development, to identify multiregion initiatives, and to facilitate communication regarding best practices across regional councils.

D. 1. There is hereby created a permanent fund to be known as the Regional Innovation Fund, to be administered by the Authority. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of each fiscal year, including interest thereon, shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund, which may consist of grants or loans, shall be made by authorization of the president, chairman, or vice-chairman of the Authority.

2. Moneys in the Fund shall be used for (i) competitive grants or loans to advance regional ecosystem development activities, (ii) support for enhanced capacity building projects, (iii) assistance with the creation and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for the execution of innovation and startup programming, or (iv) technical assistance to startups in regional ecosystems. Moneys from the Fund shall be used for the purposes set forth in this subdivision that further the goals set forth in the Index.

3. Awards from the Fund shall be made by the Authority pursuant to guidelines, procedures, and criteria for the application for and award of grants or loans developed by the Division in consultation with the Advisory Committee and approved by the Board.

4. Any award from the Fund shall require matching funds at least equal to the award, provided, however, that the Authority shall have the authority to reduce the match requirement to no less than half of the grant upon a finding by the Authority of fiscal distress or an exceptional economic opportunity in a region. Such matching funds may be from local, regional, federal, or private funds, but shall not include any state general funds, from whatever source.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2358. Division of Investment

A. Within the Authority shall be created a Division of Investment (the Division) to provide the Commonwealth with a competitive advantage through an array of funding mechanisms as provided in § 2.2-2355 related to direct and indirect venture capital investments. The Division may (i) make direct investments in business entities, (ii) make indirect investments in business entities through intermediary entities, whether formed by the Authority, or by another public or private entity or provide other financial support to encourage the formation of such intermediary entities or sidecar funds, (iii) benchmark state tax incentive programs relating to the formation and growth of technology-based businesses, and (iv) perform any other duties or responsibilities assigned by the Board.

B. The Division shall partner with and support women-owned and minority-owned entrepreneurial entities through initiatives such as investor networks, accelerators, and incubators that promote and develop women and minority founders. Further, the Division shall consider status as a woman-owned or minority-owned business when making direct or indirect investments.

C. The Division shall work to support investments in the diverse economies and regions of the Commonwealth and shall engage members of rural and geographically underrepresented communities on advisory committees and in positions of decision making.

D. The Division shall be advised by an Advisory Committee on Investment (the Advisory Committee), to be appointed by the Board.

E. The Board, in consultation with the Division and the Advisory Committee, shall make biennial recommendations to the Governor regarding investment strategies.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2359. Division of Commercialization

A. Within the Authority shall be created a Division of Commercialization (the Division). The Division shall (i) promote research and development excellence in the Commonwealth; (ii) provide guidance and coordination, as deemed necessary, to existing efforts to support research in the Commonwealth with commercial potential; (iii) review and advise on the Index; (iv) administer the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (the Fund); and (v) perform any other duties or responsibilities assigned by the Board.

B. The Division shall be advised by an Advisory Committee on Commercialization (the Advisory Committee), to be appointed by the Board. The Board shall consider including at least one representative from a major public research institution of higher education located outside of the Commonwealth and at least one representative from a public institution of higher education located within the Commonwealth.

C. The Division, in consultation with the Advisory Committee and subject to approval of the Board, shall develop guidelines, procedures, and criteria for the (i) application for grants and loans from the Fund; (ii) review, certification of scientific merits, and scoring or prioritization of applications for grants and loans from the Fund; and (iii) evaluation and recommendation to the Authority regarding the award of grants and loans from the Fund. The guidelines, procedures, and criteria shall include requirements that applicants demonstrate and the Authority consider:

1. Other grants, awards, loans, or funds awarded to the proposed program or project by the Commonwealth;

2. Other applications from the applicant for state grants, awards, loans, or funds currently pending at the time of the application;

3. The potential of the program or project for which a grant or loan is sought to (i) culminate in the commercialization of research; (ii) culminate in the formation or spin-off of technology-based companies; (iii) promote the build-out of scientific areas of expertise in science and technology; (iv) promote applied research and development in the areas of focus identified in the Index; (v) provide modern facilities or infrastructure for research and development; (vi) result in significant capital investment and job creation; or (vii) promote collaboration among the public institutions of higher education.

D. The Division may forward any application for a grant or loan from the Fund to an entity with recognized science and technology expertise for a review and certification of the scientific merits of the proposal, including a scoring or prioritization of applicant programs and projects deemed viable by the reviewing entity.

E. 1. There is hereby created a permanent fund to be known as the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund. Interest and other income earned on the Fund shall be credited to the Fund. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest and other income thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund, which may consist of grants or loans, shall be made upon authorization of the president, chairman, or vice-chairman of the Authority.

2. Awards from the Fund shall be made pursuant to the guidelines developed by the Division and approved by the Board.

3. Moneys in the Fund shall be used for grants and loans to (i) foster innovative and collaborative research, development, and commercialization efforts in the Commonwealth in projects and programs with a high potential for economic development and job creation opportunities; (ii) position the Commonwealth as a national leader in science-based and technology-based research, development, and commercialization; (iii) attract and effectively recruit and retain eminent researchers to enhance research superiority at public institutions of higher education; and (iv) encourage cooperation and collaboration among public institutions of higher education, and with the private sector, in areas and with activities that foster economic development and job creation in the Commonwealth. Grants and loans from the Fund shall be made to applications that further the goals set forth in the Virginia Innovation Index.

4. Awards from the Fund shall require a match of funds at least equal to the amount awarded.

F. The Division, by December 1, 2020, and annually by December 1 each year thereafter, in consultation with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Board, shall make recommendations regarding oversight of initiatives or Commonwealth centers of excellence related to technology-based or innovation-based economic development. Initiatives and Commonwealth centers of excellence subject to such recommendations include (i) those that engage in commercialization of university research, (ii) technology-driven industries such as unmanned systems, (iii) advanced innovation concepts such as smart community technologies, and (iv) technology-based entrepreneurial activity. Recommendations to evaluate and measure current and future initiatives shall be developed in alignment with the Index to assist the Governor and General Assembly in determining appropriate initiatives to pursue while preventing the establishment of redundant activities.

G. Institutions of higher education may choose to coordinate with the Division and participate in projects using moneys granted or loaned from the Fund. The Division shall coordinate with participating institutions of higher education technology transfer officers and vice-presidents of research and innovation to advance founder-friendly policies throughout the Commonwealth. The results of such partnerships may include the establishment of a central Commonwealth-run technology transfer office and founder-friendly terms for optional use; the creation of an inventory library of statewide available technologies and intellectual property; the support and strengthening of existing technology transfer offices, with focus on the need for proof of concept funds; and the development of commercialization advancement plans.

H. The Division may coordinate with public institutions of higher education, technology transfer offices, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and the Office of the Attorney General to identify the allowable uses of buildings owned by public institutions of higher education for research-led spin-off companies and student commercial initiatives that originate at public institutions of higher education. The Division and its partners shall take official notice of the fact that no general prohibition exists in the acts of assembly or the Code that generally prohibits such use, but that limitations may exist on a case-by-case basis that may prohibit the use of a particular building, facility, or piece of equipment for the purposes set forth in this subsection.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2360. Virginia Innovation Index

A. The Authority shall develop, subject to approval by the Board, a Virginia Innovation Index (the Index), a comprehensive research and technology strategic plan for the Commonwealth to identify research areas worthy of Commonwealth economic development. The goal of the Index shall be to develop a cohesive and comprehensive framework through which to encourage collaboration between the Commonwealth's public institutions of higher education, private sector industries, and economic development entities in order to focus on the complete lifecycle of research, development, and commercialization. The framework shall serve as a means to (i) identify the Commonwealth's key industry sectors in which investments in technology should be made by the Commonwealth; (ii) identify basic and applied research opportunities in these sectors that exhibit commercial promise; (iii) encourage commercialization and economic development activities in the Commonwealth in these sectors; and (iv) help ensure that investments of public funds in the Commonwealth in basic and applied research are made prudently in focused areas for projects with significant potential for commercialization and economic growth in the Commonwealth.

B. The Index shall be used to determine areas of focus for grants, loans, and investments by the Authority pursuant to this article.

C. In developing the Index, the Authority shall:

1. Consult with the chief research officers at public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth regarding the strategic plan for each institution in order to identify common themes;

2. Consult with public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and any other entity deemed relevant to catalog the Commonwealth's assets in order to identify the areas of research and development in which the Commonwealth has a great likelihood of excelling in applied research and commercialization;

3. Make recommendations for the alignment of research and development and economic growth in the Commonwealth, identifying the industry sectors in which the Commonwealth should focus its research, development, investment, and economic development efforts;

4. Establish a process for maintaining an inventory of the Commonwealth's current research and development endeavors in both the public and private sectors that can be used to attract research and commercialization excellence in the Commonwealth;

5. Make recommendations to the Six-Year Capital Outlay Plan Advisory Committee established pursuant to § 2.2-1516 regarding capital construction needs at public institutions of higher education necessary to excel in basic and applied research in identified industry sectors;

6. Solicit feedback from public and private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth; members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine; members of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine; federal research and development assets in the Commonwealth; regional technology councils in the Commonwealth; the Virginia Economic Development Partnership; the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board; and the private sector;

7. Consult with private industry and industry leaders to identify areas of research and development in which the Commonwealth has a great likelihood of excelling in applied research and commercialization; and

8. Incorporate the work of previous comprehensive research and technology strategic plans developed by the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia.

D. The Authority shall review the Index and make recommendations regarding its update at least once every two years. Such recommended updates shall be submitted to the Board for review and approval.

E. The Authority shall submit a draft of the Index to the Governor and the Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Joint Commission on Technology and Science at least 30 days prior to the Board voting to approve the Index or any subsequent updates. Upon final approval, the Authority shall submit the approved Index, and any subsequent updates, to the Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Joint Commission on Technology and Science.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2361. Grants or loans of public or private funds

The Authority may accept, receive, receipt for, disburse, and expend federal and state moneys and other moneys, public or private, made available by grant or loan or both or otherwise, to accomplish, in whole or in part, any of the purposes of this article. All federal moneys accepted under this section shall be accepted and expended by the Authority upon such terms and conditions as are prescribed by the United States and as are consistent with state law; and all state moneys accepted under this section shall be accepted and expended by the Authority upon such terms and conditions as are prescribed by the Commonwealth.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2362. Moneys of Authority; examination of books by the Auditor of Public Accounts

All moneys of the Authority, from whatever source derived, shall be paid to the treasurer of the Authority. Such moneys shall be deposited in the first instance by the treasurer in one or more banks or trust companies, in one or more special accounts. All banks and trust companies are authorized to give such security for such deposits, if required by the Authority. The moneys in such accounts shall be paid out on the warrant or other order of the treasurer of the Authority or of other persons as the Authority may authorize to execute such warrants or orders. The Auditor of Public Accounts or his legally authorized representatives shall examine the accounts and books of the Authority.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2363. Exemption from taxes or assessments

The exercise of the powers granted by this article shall be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, and for the improvement of their health and living conditions, and as the operation and maintenance of projects by the Authority and the undertaking of activities in furtherance of the purpose of the Authority constitute the performance of essential governmental functions, the Authority shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any project or any property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article or upon the income therefrom, including sales and use taxes on tangible personal property used in the operations of the Authority, and shall at all times be free from state and local taxation. The exemption granted in this section shall not be construed to extend to persons conducting on the premises of a facility businesses for which local or state taxes would otherwise be required.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.

§ 2.2-2364. Exemption of Authority from personnel and procurement procedures

The provisions of the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) and the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) shall not apply to the Authority in the exercise of any power conferred under this article.

2020, cc. 1164, 1169.