West Virginia Department of Commerce The Eureka! Factor

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The Eureka! Factor



The Eureka! Factor
Creating Technology Jobs in West Virginia
By Catherine Zacchi

Once upon a time – perhaps in your lifetime – a computer filled an entire room. Today, a flat-screen laptop fits easily into a briefcase.

Such innovation improves daily life. Increasingly, they play a critical role in economic growth as well. Studies show that high-technology businesses lift the economy and diversify it as well.

“You take an idea that has been birthed in a classroom or laboratory, and build a business around that idea,” said Andrew Zulauf, executive director of West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT). “Wealth gets created out of that. So do jobs. The state benefits from additional employment and taxes. That’s why every stakeholder in West Virginia – whether businesses, educational communities or citizens – should be interested in innovation and commercialization.”

A phalanx of West Virginia organizations works to expand the state’s innovation capabilities. Singly and in concert, they tackle key issues such as education, research and funding.


 Better-equipped Universities Win More Projects

Better-equipped Universities Win More Projects
West Virginia competes with researchers from across the country – and is beginning to win an increasing share of federal research dollars. 

 Research Results in Greater Market Potential

Research Results in Greater Market Potential
TechConnectWV, aided by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, produced the West Virginia’s Blueprint for Technology-Based Economic Development. The comprehensive plan addresses how to retain, attract and grow technology-based businesses.

 Investments Help Recruit New Companies

Investments Help Recruit New Companies
A fortunate intersection of entrepreneurship, research capacity and agency resources came together in the formation of one of the state’s leading biotechnology companies. Protea provides products and services that improve the speed, quality and reproducibility of protein mass spectrometry data obtained from biological samples.

 Businesses Access Capital, Resources

Businesses Access Capital, Resources
WVJIT, the state’s venture capital fund, looks for investment opportunities in small and middle market companies. When WVJIT invests in a company, it takes a seat on the board of directors, works with management to handle operational issues and helps to grow the company.


World’s First Carbon Capture-and-Storage Plant Powers Up in West Virginia 

The world’s first project to both capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) from a coal-fired power plant has been successfully demonstrated at the American Electric Power (AEP) Mountaineer plant in New Haven, Mason County.

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