Virginia reels in $52.9M for manufacturing as part of government competition

Virginia’s Advanced Pharma Manufacturing and R&D Cluster is getting a $52.9 million boost. The funding comes as part of a $1 billion federal government competition to address critical manufacturing and supply issues in the U.S.

The Department of Education’s Economic Development Administration named 21 winners. Virginia is slated to use its money to expand the domestic supply chain for essential medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Some of the funds will be used to expand a growing pharma industry in central Virginia.

Additionally, the state’s project includes a new partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University that will focus on creating and training jobs for “underserved residents” in the pharmaceutical industry.

The funding is part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

“The Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster will generate a major boost to an emerging, regional industry of critical importance to American global competitiveness,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in the press release.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House began proposing in 2021 a sweeping strategy to boost domestic drug production. Under the Biden plan, a public-private partnership zeroed in on 50 to 100 essential medicines that would be targeted for "an enhanced onshoring effort" to increase domestic production and make the U.S. less dependent on foreign produced drugs and APIs.