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ODU Receives State Approval for Lab Schools in Newport News, Chesapeake

By Joy Vann Old Dominion University received approval from the Virginia Board of Education on April 25 to establish lab schools with Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) and Chesapeake Public Schools (CPS) to prepare students for work in the computer science and maritime industries. “These schools are establishing innovative pathways for students to explore potential careers and be better prepared…

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ODU Receives Federal Funding to Support Maritime Workforce Training in Hampton Roads

March 25, 2024 By Jonah Grinkewitz Old Dominion University’s Virginia Digital Maritime Center (VDMC), a newly established entity to support the maritime industry in Hampton Roads, has received $643,000 in fiscal year 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) funds from the U.S. Department of Labor. The federal investment, secured by Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine for the Maritime Skilled Trades…

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2024 Digital Ship Innovation Challenge

High school students from around Hampton Roads participated in the First Annual Digital Ship Challenge on March 21, 2024. Teams were tasked with designing and building an innovative container ship that had to survive heavy seas and deliver as many containers as possible. The teams performed admirably and moved a lot of cargo. Congrats to the winning team – “Indigo”…

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Research Assistant Professor/Digital Analytics Lead Dr. Katie Smith Interviewed by CoVaBIZ Magazine

Dr. Katie Smith was interviewed by CoVaBIZ Magazine in February 2024. She appears on the cover of the March-April magazine, along with 24 other exceptional women who are Innovators and Disruptors on the Leading Edge of their respective fields! The article features women representing various fields of endeavor who are doing amazing things and contributing to our region. Screenshot 2024…

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Landmark Merger Creates Virginia Digital Maritime Center: A Hub for Maritime Excellence

Suffolk, VA. (March 14, 2024) – The ODU Office of Enterprise Research and Innovation (OERI) is excited to announce the creation of the Virginia Digital Maritime Center (VDMC), a merger of the Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem (MIBE) and the Virginia Digital Ship Program. VDMC is set to support Virginia’s maritime enterprise by leveraging applied research and cutting-edge technology, to advance the…

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National Defense Industrial Strategy Released

In mid-January, the Pentagon released America’s first National Defense Industrial Strategy ( to remedy growing concerns about the “more robust, resilient, and dynamic industrial ecosystem” the Dept. of Defense says it needs to ensure global defense and security over the coming five years of challenge in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Arctic, and the South Pacific. The 65-page NDIS offers a…

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Virginia Digital Maritime Center Attends Brick by Brick LEGO Shipbuilding Event

On Saturday, February 3rd, the Virginia Digital Maritime Center (VDMC) team volunteered at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum Brick by Brick LEGO Shipbuilding event. This event occurs every year and is free for families to attend. There’s a ton of hands-on robotics demos, LEGO displays, and LEGO-related activities. Families had the opportunity to visit the VDMC table and digitally build…

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Virginia Beach Students Answer the Digital Ship Challenge

Suffolk, VA. (January 8, 2024) – Teams from the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) and Landstown High School, both in Virginia Beach, gathered at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC) on Friday, December 15, 2023, for the Digital Ship Challenge Mid-Year Review. In partnership with the Virginia Ship Repair Foundation (VSRA) and the Virginia Maritime Association (VMA), the Digital…

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Maritime Trades Magnet Program Update

Summer extension of the Maritime Trades Magnet (MTM) Program continues to give Norfolk teens access to advanced manufacturing technologies at the Norview Community Center. In July, the success of the program attracted the attention of the City of Norfolk Communications Department; it will feature MTM in a soon-to-be-released video on its social media and local TV platforms. In August, the…

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