With the support and assistance of the Commonwealth Secretary of Commerce and Trade, William & Mary established the VIMS-Industry Partnership Committee in December 2003 to advise the Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) on the development of long-term partnerships with industry and steps to improve collaborative research and technology transfer. The Committee has included some 20 VIMS participants, 10 representatives from the main William & Mary campus, some 30 industry participants from more than 20 companies, the Gloucester County Director of Economic Development, and representatives from the Hampton Roads Research Partnership, NASA, and the Office of Naval Research.
The partnership has focused on marine sensors (particularly anti-body-based chemical sensors), the deployment of observation platforms in the Chesapeake Bay, autonomous underwater vehicles, modeling and simulation of storm surges, and the Chesapeake Bay algae project (ChAP). The partners have collaborated in SBIRS, federal contracts, and numerous grants from state and federal agencies Some partners have made gifts of equipment to VIMS to advance research.
During quarterly meetings, partners brief each other on their major research interests. Partners then pursue collaborative discussions in smaller groups focused on specific proposals.