A. The Council, in consultation with the Committee, shall establish guidelines, procedures, and objective criteria for the application for and award of grants and loans from the Fund. Such guidelines, procedures, and criteria, and any updates thereto, shall be submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance. The criteria for the award of grants and loans shall consider other grants, awards, loans, or funds awarded to the proposed program or project by the Commonwealth and shall require an applicant to indicate other applications for state grants, awards, loans, or funds currently pending at the time of the application for an award from the Fund. The criteria shall consider the potential of the program or project for which a grant or loan is sought to (i) culminate in the commercialization of research; (ii) culminate in the formation or spin-off of viable bioscience, biotechnology, cybersecurity, genomics, or similar companies; (iii) promote the build-out of scientific areas of expertise in science and technology; (iv) promote applied research and development; (v) provide modern facilities or infrastructure for research and development; (vi) result in significant capital investment and job creation; or (vii) promote collaboration among the public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth. Such criteria shall also require that the program or project for which a grant or loan is sought be related to an area identified in the Commonwealth Research Technology Strategic Roadmap.
B. Grants and loans may be awarded to public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth or collaborations between public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth and private entities. Any award from the Fund shall require a match of funds at least equal to the amount of the award.
C. Applications for grants and loans from the Fund shall be received by the Council in accordance with the procedures developed pursuant to subsection A. Upon confirmation that an application is complete, the Council shall forward the application to an entity with recognized science and technology expertise for a review and certification of the scientific merits of the proposal, including a scoring or prioritization of applicant programs and projects deemed viable by the reviewing entity. Such entities include, but are not limited to, the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, or any other entity deemed appropriate by the Council, including a scientific advisory committee created by the Council for the sole purpose of reviewing one or more applications received pursuant to this article.
D. Any proposal receiving a favorable evaluation pursuant to subsection C shall be forwarded, along with the scoring or prioritization, to the Committee for further review and a decision whether to award the proposal a grant or loan from the Fund. The award of a grant or loan from the Fund shall be subject to any terms and conditions set forth by the Committee for the award. All decisions by the Committee shall be final and not subject to further review or appeal. The Governor may announce any award approved by the Committee.
2016, c. 775.