Since its founding in 2002, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) has experienced rapid growth marked by extensive infrastructure investment, high-caliber educational programming and workforce development, and applied research supporting economic activity in Southern Virginia and beyond.

In 2022, IALR adopted a new, five-year strategic plan to guide our efforts and extend that positive momentum, capitalizing on our strengths to meet the needs of the region. With input from the entire IALR Board of Trustees, employees and external stakeholders and organizations, the FY 22-27 plan establishes strategic goals outlining how IALR can best impact the region.


Mission and Vision

Mission Statement: The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation. The mission will be accomplished through applied research, advanced learning, economic development, manufacturing advancement and conference services.

Vision Statement: To realize Southern Virginia as home to a dynamic economy where all can live and thrive.

We envision Southern Virginia as a region of innovation and inclusion that drives growth, contributes to the state and national economies, and serves as a worldwide model for business advancement. Drawing from our region’s agricultural and manufacturing roots, we apply the same work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to transform Southern Virginia into a hub of business vitality that serves the entire country and beyond.

Strategic Goals

Every IALR program, initiative and partnership contributes to at least one of the strategic goals below and helps us realize our mission and vision for Southern Virginia.

  • Virginia’s Go-To Partner for Business and Economic Growth: Expand into a leading hub for high-value and high-tech companies, growing sectors and targeted industries for economic development.
  • Center of Excellence for Education and Workforce Development: Become the region’s epicenter for training and educating a highly skilled workforce.
  • Globally Competitive Business Ecosystem: Advance and connect businesses in the Southern Virginia region to ensure they are globally competitive.
  • Collaborative Team Success: Drive cross-divisional collaboration and human capital investments to maximize IALR’s impact.
  • Excellence in Board Leadership and Decision Making: Optimize board effectiveness to advance IALR’s mission.
  • Strategic Expansion of Applied Research and Culture of Learning: Expand applied research and establish a culture of learning to serve community and business needs aligned with the organizational and physical assets at IALR.
Who We Serve and Impact

We bring together people, talent, mindpower, infrastructure, technology, resources, and so much more to benefit organizations and individuals across the region. As such, our strategy impacts everyone.

  • All Businesses: Provides the confidence and stability to grow and thrive through access to high-tech
    infrastructure, a ready-trained, highly skilled workforce, and a platform to connect and collaborate with other businesses.
  • The Community: Offers a connection to the necessary training and employment opportunities in sectors offering above-average wages and the jobs of the future.
  • Local and State Agencies and other Funders: Ensures every dollar invested is utilized efficiently with the added benefits of best-in-class facilities and workforce training.
  • Collaborators: Unites our education and services
    partners with our forward-thinking team to solve common challenges together and advance the region.
Organizational Values

  • Purpose: We believe in our mission and want to surround ourselves with others who share our passion.
  • Partnership: We believe that our vision can only be accomplished through collaboration. Therefore, we actively seek positive relationships and working partnerships with both organizations and the community.
  • Collective Ownership: we foster a climate of collective ownership that allows us to develop an invested, results-focused team.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We know the best outcomes are born out of a diversity of talent, ideas, and perspectives. We seek to ensure our organization mirrors the community it serves.
  • Communication and Respect: We are consistent, frequent, transparent, and intentional in our communication internally with partners and with the public.
  • Community Engagement: We aim to bring people together. Our active outreach seeks to engage every part of the region.