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Former Gov. Mark Warner will visit Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) Friday, Oct. 5 to get an update on the region's rapidly expanding modeling and simulation complex.

Warner will tour the new, $11.6 million VMASC headquarters, a two-story, 60,000-square-foot facility that anchors the Mast Center Corporate Research Park. The park is in an area along the Suffolk-Portsmouth line that has been dubbed "Sim City" because of the cluster of simulation facilities there. Funds to promote this nexus of modeling and simulation came from the 2002 Commonwealth Bond Campaign, under the leadership of Warner and Tim Kaine, who was lieutenant governor at the time and is now governor.

In 2005, when he was governor, Warner announced a $27 million package of budget proposals for VMASC and other key components of the modeling and simulation industry in the region. This funding supported strategic development at the ODU center, guided by the premise that modeling and simulation can be utilized to address even the most complex problems in almost any area.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the progress that VMASC has made since my last visit," said Warner. "The investments we made when I was governor ha not only helped the modeling and simulation industry, but has also been a tremendous economic asset to the Hampton Roads region as a whole."

Welcoming Warner on Friday will be ODU President Roseann Runte; VMASC researchers and staff; Dana Dickens, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Partnership; state delegates Kenneth Alexander and S. Chris Jones; and industry and military representatives who partner with the university-based economic development initiative. Regional modeling and simulation efforts are producing a more than 300 percent return on investment. VMASC has undertaken research in the areas of medicine, transportation, education and homeland security/defense.

"Hampton Roads has become a major center for modeling, simulation and visualization related investment," said Dickens. "This exciting project will allow the citizens of Hampton Roads to benefit from tremendous employment and educational opportunities."

Established in 1997, VMASC has rapidly become a catalyst for the growth of modeling and simulation in Hampton Roads, and ODU has gained recognition as a leader in this area of research.

This article was posted on: October 4, 2007

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