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JMU joins regional economic-development consortium

Staff Report

James Madison University has joined a consortium of select universities from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. that is designed to drive regional innovation, economic performance and global competitiveness.

The Chesapeake Crescent Innovation Alliance (CCIA) stated that JMU’s partnership with SRI International and its dedicated approach to undergraduate research make it a natural fit for the consortium. In addition to JMU, CCIA members are Georgetown University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University System of Maryland, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The CCIA was formed by the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative (CCI) and launched at CCI’s first Innovation Summit in June 2008. CCIA’s mission is to drive regional innovation capacity and performance through strategic cooperation among universities and related stakeholders.

JMU’s research in areas such as biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, alternative fuel vehicles, information security and pandemic flu modeling were especially attractive to the consortium.

Also attractive to the Alliance is JMU’s leadership role in the Virginia 25x’25 State Alliance, which promotes the vision of obtaining 25 percent of the state’s energy needs from renewable resources by 2025, as well as JMU’s approach to undergraduate research where faculty engage undergraduates in research activities the way that most research institutions involve graduate students.

JMU President Linwood H. Rose called the invitation to join the CCIA “an opportunity to serve the needs of the region while advancing the research and outreach of our talented faculty and students” and noted that

“JMU’s areas of research include precisely the areas in which the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative is focusing: homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, alternative energy, health and life sciences, and biotechnology.”

George Vradenburg, co-founder of the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative and the CCIA said, “”With the addition of this outstanding university, the CCIA builds out a world-class collection of talent committed to research and innovation, a collection unmatched anywhere in the country.”

More information about the CCIA is available at:

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