Virginia Tech National Capital Region and FosterSoft Inc. have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on competitive research and technology transfer programs of mutual interest.
FosterSoft is an information technology services company that provides specialized, risk-free consulting services to both government and commercial business enterprises. The agreement will especially focus on projects for which FosterSoft, as a small business, is eligible for through the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
Small Business Innovation Research grants encourage small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization. Small Business Technology Transfer program expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arena, and encourages expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include joint venture opportunities for small business and the nation's premier nonprofit research institutions.
Founded in 1999, FosterSoft is located in Lanham, Md., and specializes in enterprise data management, systems engineering and integration, network engineering, and business consulting, all areas where Virginia Tech can offer support. “Expanding our applied research capabilities is a priority in the national capital region and this collaboration with FosterSoft is a perfect opportunity for us,” said Ing-Ray Chen, professor and director, computer science, National Capital Region, Virginia Tech.
FosterSoft clients have included the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Justice, Army, and Transportation, as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
"We all realize the importance of research and the urgent need for increased collaboration between the private sector and the academic community for developing innovative and creative solutions to real-world business problems,” said Samuel Foster, president and chief executive officer of FosterSoft. “FosterSoft anticipates that advances in research will be greatly accelerated through this partnership.”
Foster, who is a Virginia Tech alumnus, said he is fully aware of the university’s cutting-edge research and firmly believes the partnership will add value to his company’s business model by bringing unique products and business solutions to the market place.
As part of the agreement, Virginia Tech and FosterSoft will also encourage personnel exchanges. When appropriate and mutually beneficial, FosterSoft personnel will be involved in Virginia Tech educational programs in the national capital region and mentor the university’s graduate students. In turn, Virginia Tech faculty will work with FosterSoft in research and development strategic planning.
“We saw in this opportunity with FosterSoft [as] a new way to enhance both our research opportunities and [to enhance] the experiences we can offer our students and faculty in the national capital region,” said Nick Stone, deputy director, National Capital Region Operations.