60 Seconds with Rob McClintock, Director of Research of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership

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Rob McClintock is Director of Research of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and state liaison for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, a $50-million collaboration between the Commonwealth, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

BF: How quickly will the CCAM be up and running, and where will it be located?

RM: CCAM will be located on a 10-acre site near the southern entrance to the 1,000-acre Rolls-Royce Crosspointe manufacturing campus in the Richmond-Petersburg metro area. The facility, to be owned by the University of Virginia Foundation, will be a not-for-profit organization. We anticipate construction beginning in the 4th quarter of 2010, with occupancy early in 2012.

BF: CCAM is geared to support Rolls Royce through a new Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems. Will this academic/industrial collaboration be applied to other sectors?

RM: We absolutely view CCAM as a vehicle to help drive broad-based collaboration between industry and academia for the discovery of new manufacturing technologies. CCAM will have an initial research emphasis on surface engineering and manufacturing systems. We anticipate CCAM will add to the growing body of knowledge into advanced manufacturing capability across a wide range of industry sectors. The key is to create an environment of non-competitive collaboration, whereby all members can share in discovery and testing of new manufacturing processes. We have had several other aerospace companies, defense-related manufacturers, manufacturing systems firms, and energy-related companies embrace the concept. The founding members also will reach out to other governmental research institutions and universities to  broaden the membership of the Center.

BF: Is the CCAM empowered to commercialize new technologies?

RM: Members of CCAM can have the best of both worlds. The CCAM Board will set the core research program undertaken annually by the Center, but members can participate in shared research which can produce intellectual property. Members would receive royalty free, non-exclusive licenses to that shared research as long as they remain members. Additionally, Center members could undertake very company-specific research projects, in which case the member could receive royalty free, exclusive licenses to that research.

BF: Has Virginia made a long-term commitment to the CCAM?

RM: We believe the future belongs to those who can find ways to bring innovation from the research labs to the production line. We took a similar view with our SRI collaboration with James Madison University to accelerate new drug and vaccine discoveries. We are very hopeful that CCAM provides a useful template that brings the expertise of Virginia’s world-class universities directly to bear on the needs of industry. If we can demonstrate a successful launch of CCAM that can demonstrate new products, new private investment, new employment in Virginia’s manufacturing sector, I think we can parlay this into a sustainable model that can apply to other non-manufacturing sectors.


Business Facilities was saddened to learn of the passing on July 5 of Mike Hickey, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 59.

Mike was a longtime member of the Business Facilities Editorial Advisory Board, a frequent speaker at our annual LiveXchange event, and one of the most respected site selection consultants in our industry. He was the president of Hickey & Associates, LLC, the consulting firm he founded 25 years ago. Under Mike’s leadership, Hickey & Associates developed a reputation for expertise in assisting companies with the management of public incentives.

Earlier in his career, Mike held leadership positions with General Electric and Pillsbury, where he helped design Best Practices for business transition and integration. In the public sector, he served as Executive Director of Employment, Training, and Associated Economic Development activities in Maryland.

Business Facilities has lost a friend and a mentor,” said Ted Coene, co-president of Group C Media, publisher of Business Facilities. “Mike’s think tanks were a highlight of LiveXchange, and his leadership and wise counsel were essential to the development of our magazine. We will miss him, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family.”


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