The Virginia Biotechnology Association (VABIO), today announced that L. Scott Lingamfelter, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Woodbridge, received the Virginia Bioscience Legislative Leadership Award for his exemplary efforts on behalf of the bioscience industry during the 2011 Session of the Virginia General Assembly.
“Delegate Lingamfelter played a key role in the passage of legislation to match Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards and to protect and fund Virginia’s commitment to the Commonwealth Research and Commercialization Fund (CRCF),” said Mark A. Herzog, executive director of VABIO. “The CRCF is designed to spark early-stage commercialization and job creation in high-growth, high-wage technologies such as biotechnology.”
The Virginia Biotechnology Association has only recognized a handful of state legislators with this special distinction.
“Technology, and biotechnology in particular, will be a major component of a vibrant Virginia economy going forward,” said Delegate Lingamfelter in a statement following the award presentation. “ I'm glad to have played a small part in working with the Governor and leaders with an economic vision for Virginia by advancing legislation that will attract and grow more high-tech companies to Virginia.”
The SBIR program, signed into law by President Reagan in 1982, is the largest innovation program in the United States. SBIR offers competition-based awards to stimulate technological innovation among small private sector businesses with significant commercial applications. Many famous, high-tech firms, such as Qualcomm, first got their start via this important program. These awards are extremely competitive; historically only about 15% of all Phase One applications are approved.
“The Virginia SBIR Match Program was first created in 2009 but no funding had been provided,” said Mr. Herzog. “We are grateful to Delegate Lingamfelter and his colleagues in the General Assembly for including the $2 million in the 2012 budget.”
Previous recipients of the award include: Delegate Steve Landes of Weyer’s Cave; Delegate Mark Sickles of Fairfax; Delegate John O’Bannon of Henrico; Delegate Sam Nixon of Chesterfield, Delegate Joe May of Loudoun and Senator Mark Herring, also from Loudoun.
The Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO) is the statewide non-profit organization that promotes the scientific and economic impact of the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Approximately 200 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies are based in Virginia, mainly clustered around universities in Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Norfolk and Northern Virginia. For more information about the impact of the bioscience industry in Virginia, please visit www.vabio.org.