The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation.

Our work, research, programs, services and campus:

  • Contribute to economic transformation and growth in Southern Virginia and beyond.
  • Are driven by the needs of industry here in Southern Virginia and around the world. 
  • Are guided by our five-year strategic plan
  • Are only possible through robust partnerships across the public and private sectors.

IALR’s vision is to realize Southern Virginia as home to a dynamic economy where all can live and thrive.

A political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, IALR is governed by a Board of Trustees, which appoints a President to champion its cause and oversee a staff supporting five divisions and other departments. IALR also maintains a Foundation Board.


IALR has five divisions, each of which contributes to economic transformation through a variety of services, programs and focus areas.
Advanced Learning

The Advanced Learning division administers a variety of programs aimed at connecting students to careers, enhancing STEM education, and providing a platform for service and lifelong learning.

Applied Research

As a bridge between academia and industry, the Applied Research division supports companies across various industries like advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, and environmental and life sciences. Services include ISO-certified analytical chemistry, temporary lab space, cutting-edge contract research and advancement of the controlled environment agriculture and biotechnology industries.

Manufacturing Advancement

To support new, existing and prospective industry, the Manufacturing Advancement division leads workforce development initiatives like the national Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program (in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense), leads the integration of emerging technologies and offers critical industry solutions and services through the Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA).

Economic Development

Through collaboration with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, the Economic Development division focuses on the attraction, retention and expansion of high-performing companies to build a strong regional economy and increase opportunities for our current and future workforce. 

Conference Center

The Institute Conference Center serves as a dynamic, flexible and state-of-the-art venue that can host events, conferences and meetings with a variety of meeting spaces and services.

IALR’s campus is set in the Cyber Park, owned by the Danville-Pittsylvania County Regional Industrial Facility Authority. The campus is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (except for some holidays, planned closures and booked events/meetings). The Conference Center supports after-hours events and programs.

Megabytes, the on-site café, is open 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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Dynamic Partnerships

IALR rarely works alone.

Its teams collaborate with K12 and higher education institutions like Virginia Tech, Danville Community College and Averett University for the delivery of educational and workforce programs and services. A robust, two-prong partnership with the federal government (and many other public and private organizations) is helping the U.S. Navy produce submarines faster. The economic development team works together with local governments, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and other companies to grow the marketability of the region. The Applied Research team collaborates with and supports businesses, ranging from startups to established companies, around the world.

A Rich History

IALR was founded in 2002 to diversify, transform and grow the economy of Southern Virginia. Since its inception, IALR has served as a site for the development of the technology, partnerships and trained workforce necessary for new economic enterprises to flourish. The creation of IALR was funded through state and local sources, as well as tobacco settlement funds disbursed by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission

While some of the particular programs have changed in its 20-year history, IALR’s objective of economic transformation and fundamental offerings – workforce development, conferencing services, agriculture-focused research, a technology focus, etc.) – have remained.

A Resource for Southern Virginia – and Beyond

Since its founding, IALR has served as a resource, a collaborator and a convener. With the support of excellent partners, IALR staff create opportunity, discover breakthroughs, lead collaborative innovation, power progress and serve excellence.

IALR’s traditional service area is an eight-locality footprint in Southern Virginia. However, that impact area is expanding rapidly:

  • The Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC®) program is serving middle school students around the Commonwealth.
  • The ATDM program is the result of a partnership with the U.S. Navy and is drawing diverse students from around the world.
  • The research team provides critical testing and support services for dozens of countries from around the world.

A Growing Campus

IALR’s primary facility, the 90,000 square-foot building located at 150 Slayton Avenue, became fully operational in 2005. Since then, IALR has grown the campus to accommodate new programs and expand services. Two new buildings opened in 2006 and 2012.

Today, IALR maintains five different buildings totaling over 218,000 square feet. A sixth building – the Navy’s national training center, which will house the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing program – is slated to open in late 2024.