A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting revolving fund to be known as the Virginia Research Investment Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All moneys appropriated by the General Assembly for the Fund, and from any other sources public or private, shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest and other income earned on the Fund shall be credited to the Fund. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest and other income thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund.
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the General Assembly may specifically designate that certain moneys appropriated to the Fund be invested, reinvested, and managed by the Board of the Virginia Retirement System as provided in § 51.1-124.38. The State Treasurer shall not be held liable for losses suffered by the Virginia Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this subsection.
2. No more than $ 4 million of moneys so invested, net of any administrative fee assessed pursuant to subsection E of § 51.1-124.38, may be awarded through grants or loans in a fiscal year for any purpose permitted by this article. At the direction of the Committee, the State Comptroller may annually request a disbursement of $ 4 million from the moneys invested by the Board of the Virginia Retirement System, to be held with other moneys in the Fund not subject to such investment. At the end of each fiscal year, if less than $ 4 million of such annual allocation is awarded as grants or loans in a calendar year, the Comptroller shall return the remainder of the annual $ 4 million allocation to the Board of the Virginia Retirement System for reinvestment pursuant to § 51.1-124.38.
3. Any loans awarded pursuant to this article shall be paid by the Comptroller from the $ 4 million annual allocation set forth in subdivision 2. The recipient of a loan shall repay the loan pursuant to the terms set forth by the Committee. At the end of each fiscal year, the Comptroller shall return any repayments received from loan recipients to the Board of the Virginia Retirement System for reinvestment pursuant to § 51.1-124.38.
C. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for grants and loans to (i) promote research and development excellence in the Commonwealth; (ii) foster innovative and collaborative research, development, and commercialization efforts in the Commonwealth in projects and programs with a high potential for economic development and job creation opportunities; (iii) position the Commonwealth as a national leader in science-based and technology-based research, development, and commercialization; (iv) attract and effectively recruit and retain eminent researchers to enhance research superiority at public institutions of higher education; and (v) encourage cooperation and collaboration among higher education research institutions, and with the private sector, in areas and with activities that foster economic development and job creation in the Commonwealth. Areas of focus for awards shall be those areas identified in the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap, and shall include but not be limited to the biosciences, personalized medicine, cybersecurity, data analytics, and other areas designated in the general appropriation act.
2016, c. 775.