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What We Do

3d-printed samara seeds in a student's hand.

orange seeds in hand

The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science is one of seven research institutes and one of four investment institutes at Virginia Tech. We forge partnerships across disciplinary boundaries that enhance the university’s ability to embrace ambitious research opportunities in the service of society, and catalyze discovery at the intersections of engineering, the humanities, and the physical, life, and social sciences.

We foster innovation through

  • investments in seed projects. 
  • shared facilities for transdisciplinary research. 
  • purchase, installation, and maintenance of specialized equipment. 
  • administrative support for proposal development. 
  • graduate and undergraduate student support. 


We're also helping build international research partnerships and creating experiential learning opportunities for students at all levels, advancing Virginia Tech's mission to reimagine the global land-grant university for a changing society.  

Supporting interdisciplinary research

6 colleges
200 plus students
400 plus faculty

ICTAS touches almost every corner of the university, working with more than 400 faculty and 200 students across six colleges.

When we select projects to support, we're guided by Virginia Tech's bold mission to become a global leader in solving complex, 21st-century problems. We look for innovative, transdisciplinary research aligned with the Destination Areas and Strategic Growth Areas at the intersection of Virginia Tech's core strengths and some of the most pressing issues faced by society. In particular, we focus on the following areas:

  • Data and decisions
  • Intelligent infrastructure for human-centered communities
  • Adaptive brain and behavior 
  • Economical and sustainable materials
  • Integrated security
  • Global systems science


By incentivizing collaboration and innovation to address challenges beyond the scope of a single discipline, ICTAS helps position Virginia Tech to be a force for positive change in technology and society at local, regional, national, and global scales.