(a) Legislative findings. -- The Legislature finds that a pressing need exists for collaborative research and development between institutions of higher education and industry. This need also extends to assisting companies to develop and adapt to new technology. A commitment by the state to support cooperative partnerships between higher education and industry preserves existing jobs and creates new jobs; promotes development of business enterprises and helps them become competitive; and enables West Virginia to achieve the goals of economic growth and full employment by revitalizing and diversifying the economy. Focused research and technical assistance efforts related to West Virginia industry advances such development, improves technology transfer, assists companies in becoming growth leaders and links basic research and technological developments to economic advancement.
(b) Legislative intent. -- It is the intent of the Legislature to adopt the following as state goals to be reached through applied science and technology and partnership programs:
(1) Moving West Virginia into the forefront of science and technology;
(2) Attracting business, federal contracts and industry; and
(3) Creating jobs for the people of this state.
(c) Definition. –- As used in this article, "Qualified business" means a business registered to do business in this state which is engaged in science and technology related "manufacturing" (as defined in section three, article thirteen-s, chapter eleven of this code) or science and technology related "research and development" (as defined in section three, article thirteen-q, or section three, article thirteen-r, chapter eleven of this code) within a research zone, park or technology center.