VISION 2015 is a strategic framework of actions and initiatives that position West Virginia to achieve measurable growth in technology-based economic development. The Vision: By 2015, research and innovation will be the number one driver of West Virginia’s new, diverse and prosperous economy; is the essential driver of this plan.
To achieve this goal and to develop cutting-edge research that will spawn new business growth, the state will invest $250 million in both human and physical infrastructure. West Virginia embraces this plan as the state continues to diversify and transform its traditional extractive industrial base to a more high-tech, knowledge-based economy. Doing so may create 33,000 jobs and an economic impact greater than $3.3 billion over the next decade.
West Virginia will grow the research enterprise by hiring nationally prominent and otherwise promising faculty, increasing the production of scientists and engineers, and building research facilities and parks.
West Virginia is not alone in engaging this strategy, but joins the national effort, recognizing that surrounding states have initiated similar strategic plans—and aggressive state funding—for capitalizing on research growth. West Virginia’s universities can no longer be viewed as merely post secondary academic institutions, but rather as the nucleus of economic strength, entrepreneurship and innovation.
While building the state’s economy, the results of VISION 2015 will create critical mass in the state scientific community, enhance diversity of the research faculty and suppress the allure of well-financed research initiatives outside the state’s borders.