Awards and Advantages

Awards and Accolades

AURP logoMEMBER, Academy of Outstanding Research Parks

University research parks bring together academic, governmental and business endeavors for the benefit of advancing knowledge and supporting high-technology based economies. Each year, AURP honors one special university research park that has demonstrated excellence in creating and supporting high technology-based economic development, thus enhancing student learning opportunities, job creation and public revenue.

Named a winner of the 2016 'Best University Research Parks in the South‘ by Southern Business & Development magazine

Through the years, the New River Valley has earned numerous accolades, check out the latest from our area ecosystem.

  1. Montgomery County Economic Development Office
  2. Onward NRV
  3. Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council
  4. Valleys Innovation Council
  5. Virginia Economic Development Partnership
  6. The Blacksburg Partnershp

Past highlights...

  • Blacksburg Transit has earned the American Public Transportation Association’s 2019 Outstanding Transit System award for North America.July 2019
  • Montgomery County companies (some located at the VTCRC) and individuals celebrate many wins at the RBTC's annual TechNite event  May 2019
  • The state’s nationally recognized education system is a big draw for tech employers. SmartAsset named Virginia the No. 1 Top State for Higher Education in the U.S. April 2019
  • Site Selection: Top States (Virginia #7) and Metros with Populations less than 200,000 picks (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford #10) More
  • Business Facilities magazine names Virginia “State of the Year” for emerging high-tech growth sectors and businesses. Feb. 2019
  • Montgomery County makes list of Best Places in Western VA for Aerospace Companies and Virginia Tech makes list of Best Colleges in VA for Aerospace Worker Training in Southern Business & Development's 2018 Best of Aerospace Industry in Virginia list.
  • Virginia - Business Facilities 2018 - state of-the-year Jan. 2019

Virginia ranking

  • The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) keeps topping charts. The NRV was ranked the number 6 top job market of 2018 by Zippia. Oct. 2018Top 4
  • The NRV Named a Top 10 Job Market by USA Today July 2018
  • Virginia ranks #4 in America's Top States for Business 2018 by CNBC! July 2018
  • Virginia ranks in the Top 10 Most Innovative States in the Country according to WalletHub's 2018 Report! July 2018
  • 'The Best Affordable College Towns for Recent Grads—and Everyone Else' May 2018
  • Onward NRV has officially published new brochures that showcase the region's competitive advantages in Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Unmanned Systems, and Food & Beverage Processing. Read More
  • Virginia Tech's College of Engineering ranks #9 among public institutions according to U.S. News & World Report's 2018 Best College Rankings {January 2018}
  • Forbes named Virginia the #2 best state for regulatory environment, which considers labor regulations, health-insurance coverage mandates, occupational licensing, the tort system, right-to-work laws and more. January 2018

2018 accolades

  • New River Valley (Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford) ranked No. 11 'The Best Places to Work in Manufacturing – Smart Asset December 2017

  • Governor McAuliffe Announces Ranks Virginia No. 5 Best State for Business November 2017

  • The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (commonly known as Virginia’s New River Valley) is the 10th most concentrated metro for number of jobs in high-tech industry, according to an analysis by Select USA. Of jobs in the NRV, 24.5% are in the high-tech industry. October 2017

  • Expansion Solutions magazine ranks Blacksburg 3rd in metros with high ratio of IT graduates to IT job base August 2017

  • CNBC just released its America's Top States for Business 2017 rankings.  Out of 50 states, Virginia moved up six spots from the 2016 rankings to place number 7 in this year's rankings. July 2017

  • Virginia has been ranked No. 6 in the Top 10 States in Site Selection magazine’s 2017 Prosperity Cup, tying with Ohio. This represents a seven spot jump from No. 13 in 2016. June 2017

  • SmartAsset has named Virginia the No. 1 state for higher education in its third annual ranking {March 2017}

  • 2016 Annual Report Showcases Economic Development in Montgomery County {View}

  • American Institute for Economic Research ranks the New River Valley a 2017 "Top College Destination February 2017

  • Virginia rises to second in Atlantic region in annual Workforce Development Rankings: Virginia rose from fourth to second in the Atlantic region in a recent analysis of state workforce development activities conducted by Site Selection Magazine. January 2017
  • Blacksburg ranks in the Top 50 of Wallethub's Best College Towns in America. December 2016
  • Site Selection’s 2016 Top State Business Climate Rankings has put Virginia #6 December 2016
  • Virginia Tech ranked No. 1 for Best Quality of Life by the 2017 Princeton Review August 2016
  • The VTCRC named a winner of the 2016 'Best University Research Parks in the South' Read full article by Southern Business & Development Magazine July 2016
  • Area Development Magazine just released its 2016 "Top 100 Leading Locations" list.  The list is the sixth annual ranking of metros in the country explains their recent and long-term economic vitality and business growth. Off 394 MSAs, the Blacksburg MSA ranked 30th in the country as a leading location, and 12th out of all mid-sized metros. June 2016
  • Southern Business & Development magazine released its Best of Economic Development in Virginia list. The list is the first annual ranking of different economic development areas in Virginia within 30 different categories.

    Virginia Tech Transportation Institute ranked in the top 3 for Best of R&D in Virginia. New River Community College ranked in the top 3 for Virginia’s Best Community Colleges for Workforce Training. Blacksburg ranked in the top 3 for Best Tech Hubs in Virginia. And Virginia Tech football ranked in the top 3 for Virginia’s Best Sporting Events.

    Other Montgomery County areas also received votes within the 30 categories, such as: Blacksburg as a Best Tier One Auto Supplier Site in Virginia; Blacksburg Industrial Park as a Best Megasite in Virginia; Montgomery County as a Best Data Center Location in Virginia; Blacksburg as a Best Location for Biosciences in Virginia; and Blacksburg as a Best Place to Retire in Virginia.

    To read the entire article check out the Winter 2016 issue of Southern Business & Development magazine.

  • The Happiest Cities In Virginia byWallet Hub - Christiansburg ranked #3
  • Montgomery County Virginia, Economic Development 2015 Annual Report, View PDF

Community Accolades

  • Blacksburg MSA ranked No. 1 leading location mid-sized metro in Virginia Nov. 2015

  • VTKW Executive Director Jim Flowers Wins Small Business Advocate Award Sept. 2015

  • Virginia Tech ranked in top 10 percent among 3,500 of the world's best universities Sept. 2015

  • Montgomery County, VA ranked No. 3 nationally, No. 1 in Virginia, through the 2015 Digital Counties Survey of counties with populations under 150,000. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost efficiencies. June 2015

    Top 10 Digital Counties, Populations of 150,000 or less:

No. 1 - Allegan County, MI
No. 2 - Nevada County, CA
No. 3 - Montgomery County, VA
No. 4 - Roanoke County, VA
No. 5 - Skagit County, WA
No. 6 - Gloucester County VA
No. 7 - Albemarle County, VA
No. 8 - Summit County, UT
No. 9 - Tompkins County, NY
No. 10 - Franklin County, VA

  • Virginia Tech is among top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. patents in 2014 June 2015

  • The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has been named a "Top Metro" of 2014 by Site Selection magazine.  Among 132 metro areas with populations less than 200,000, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA ranked No. 4 (tie) nationally with nine new or expanding corporate facility announcements in 2014. April 2015

  • Virginia named one of the top 10 states for encouraging innovation April 2015

  • Virginia Tech has jumped forward two positions in the ranks of the nation’s top research institutions, reaching No. 38 in National Science Foundation’s (NSF) annual survey of higher education research expenditures. With more than $496 million in research and development activity for fiscal year 2013, Virginia Tech remains the No. 1 academic research institution in Virginia in the National Science Foundation’s annual census. Feb. 2015. Read more.

  • Montgomery County, VA Economic Development released their 2014 Annual Report, which outlines community accolades for the year. (view report)

  • The Town of Blacksburg ranked among the "25 Best Places to Retire," by ranking included more than 400 cities nationwide. Those factors considered in the survey included overall cost of living and home prices, as compared to national averages, and general tax climates for retirees. Jan. 2015 Read more.
  • Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area is the No. 1 best-performing small metro in Virginia. The ranking is based on the 2014 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index, a report that examined how well U.S. metropolitan areas are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.  Nationally, the area ranked No. 28 among 179 metros in the U.S. with populations of 260,000 or less. Jan. 2015

  • Computer Science Degree Hub's list of "50 Great Cities for Studying Computers and Technology", Blacksburg, VA. #15. Sept. 2014 Read more.
  • Blacksburg ranked No. 4 happiest small place in America. Sept. 2014. Read more.
  • Blacksburg has been ranked one of the fastest-growing places in Virginia, according to The San Francisco based financial information website recently ranked Blacksburg No. 3 on its list of the Fastest-Growing Cities in Virginia. NerdWallet attributed Blacksburg's high ranking, in part, to new jobs at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and Falling Branch Corporate Park in Christiansburg. April 2014. Read more.
  • "The 10 Best College Towns To Live In" - Blacksburg is #5 according to Business Insider. March 2014. Read more.
  • Forbes magazine has picked Blacksburg as one of the 25 best places in the country to retire in 2014. The business publication noted several attributes that make it an attractive place, including its strong economy, cost of living, average home price, mild climate, and low crime. Jan. 2014, Read more
  • The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan statistical area is one of the safest places to live in America, according to Farmers Insurance. The Los Angeles-based insurance company recently ranked the area No. 7 on its list of the Top 20 Most Secure Small Cities of 2013. The list, in its nineth year, identifies the most secure small metro areas in the U.S. based on safety and security statistics. Jan. 2014. Read more.
  • The Milken Institute has ranked the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area the No. 21 Best-Performing Small City of 2013. The annual listing assess how well 179 small U.S. metros are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area rose eleven spots on the 2013 list and was the highest ranking small metro in Virginia: Winchester (40), Danville (81), Charlottesville (89), Harrisonburg (106), and Lynchburg (129). Jan. 2014, Read more.
  • Virginia ranked #11 as most innovative state. Dec. 2013 Read more
  • American Institute for Economic Research Names 75 Best College Towns and Cities for 2013-2014: Blacksburg, Christiansburg-Radford ranked #8, Nov. 2013 Read more
  • Virginia Tech is No. 8 on the "20 Best College Towns in America" from Business Insider. Nov. 2013
  • Virginia is No. 15 for overall innovation and growth; No. 1 for the number of fast-growing companies; and No. 2 for "Best State To Do Business In." Nov. 2013 Read more
  • Virginia Tech named #5 out of 20 for best college campuses in the U.S. Nov. 2013, Business Insider
  •, a San Francisco based consumer advocacy website, has ranked Christiansburg the No. 10 "Best Place in Virginia for Job Seekers." October 2013
  • NEW GEOGRAPHY, a website devoted to analyzing and discussing the places where we live and work, has recognized the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan statistical area (MSA) as one of the best places in the U.S. for job growth. August 2013
  • BLACKSBURG NAMED A BEST MOUNTAIN TOWN: Montgomery County and surrounding region rack up over 50 awards through Best of the Mountains poll by Blue Ridge Country, 2013
  • VIRGINIA was recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as being among the top three states in the country for innovation and entrepreneurship, March 2013
  • BLACKSBURG METRO BIGGEST MOVER on Best-Performing Small City list, Jan. 2013, Milken Institute
  • BLACKSBURG NAMED TOP 10 COLLEGE TOWN by, August 2012:'s third annual list of the best college towns looked at communities where the college plays an integral part of the economy and culture.
  • BLACKSBURG METRO NAMED A 2012 "LEADING LOCATION" by Area Development Mag., June 2012: The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has made Area Development Magazine’s list of the top 100 "Leading Locations for 2012.”
  • BLACKSBURG MSA NAMED A "TOP METRO" for second consecutive year by Site Selection Mag. March 2012
  • JIM FLOWERS of VTKW Awarded at Virginia Conference on World Trade, October 2012
  • BLACKSBURG NAMED NO. 2 BEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOWN by USA Today, Dec. 2012: According to a recent survey of over 50,000 USA Today readers, Blacksburg is the No. 2 "Best College Football" Town in America. Home of the Virginia Tech Hokies, Blacksburg was one of 15 college towns included in the survey, all of which were nominated by five sportswriters and broadcasters.
  • BLACKSBURG METRO AREA RANKS HIGH FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS, Dec. 2012: The American Institute for Economic Research has named the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metropolitan statistical area one of the top college destinations in the America.
  • BEST PERFORMING SMALL CITY,  Milken Institute 2012: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metro - No. 32
  • AMERICAN CITY ADDING JOBS, 24/7 Wall St 2012: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metro ranked No. 2
  • BEST SMALL PLACE FOR BUSINESS AND CAREERS, Forbes 2012: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metro ranked No. 32
  • LEADING LOCATION FOR 2012, Area Development Magazine 2012: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metro
  • BEST SMALL CITIES FOR JOBS, Forbes 2012: Blacksburg, VA ranked 5th/242 metropolitan statistical areas with less than 150,000 jobs
  • OUTSTANDING RESEARCH PARK, AURP 2010: At the 2010 International Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center was recognized for its achievements by the Association of University Research Parks (AURP). Outstanding research parks create jobs and economic growth and encourage the development of best practices among research and science parks.
  • BLACKSBURG, VA NAMED NO. 1 by for Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids, 2011
  • TOP TECH LAUNCHPAD, 2008: 4th of 6 technology hubs across the country
  • BEST PLACE TO LIVE AND LAUNCH,, 2008: Blacksburg, VA ranked 43rd/100 towns that excel at combining business and leisure
  • MOST PROMISING NEW INCUBATOR, Science Alliance International Conference 2008: VT KnowledgeWorks recognized as #1 in a group of 50 technology incubators in 20 countries
  • BEST SMALL PLACES FOR BUSINESS AND CAREERS, Blacksburg, VA was ranked 32nd in 2012, 28th in 2010, 31st in 2009, and 10th in 2008
  • TOP MOUNTAIN TOWN: Exceptional Living, Mountain Homes Southern Style Magazine 2005: Blacksburg, VA
  • EXCELLENCE IN TECHNOLOGY-LED DEVELOPMENT AWARD (Semifinalist), Economic Development Administration 2004: One of three national finalists
  • BEST PLACE TO LIVE, Men's Journal 2002: Blacksburg, VA
  • WORLD-WIDE NETWORK OF THE BEST RESEARCH PARKS, 2001: Representative of eastern United States
  • BEST PRACTICE IN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND RESEARCH CENTERS, National Council for Urban Economic Development Administration (US Dept. of Commerce) 1997: Mid-Atlantic regional winner


The VTCRC adds value through the availability of high-quality business assistance services as opposed to offering solely real estate. These services aid in the success of tenant companies and the VTCRC, as seen in the exceptionally low business failure rate (3%) within the park.

  • The VTCRC provides the highest quality work environment in a beautiful, clean mountain setting
  • Labor, facility, and telecommunication costs are competitively low
  • Adjacent to the Virginia Tech Airport and a 1/2 hour drive from Roanoke Regional Airport, the VTCRC offers an easily accessible location
  • 29 single and multi-tenant buildings accommodate companies of every size
  • The VTCRC campus is 230 acres of rolling Southwest Virginia countryside in the heart of Virginia's Technology Corridor