Virginia Tech is planning to establish a biomedical research facility with Children’s National Hospital in Washington. (iStock)

Virginia Tech plans to launch a biomedical research facility in the District by early 2021, focused on pediatric health, in a venture with Children’s National Hospital that will expand the university’s presence in the capital region.

The collaboration, announced Thursday, will establish four or five Virginia Tech research teams on a campus Children’s National is developing at the site of what was once the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington.

The university expects to spend $5 million to $10 million to establish the teams and laboratories in a 12,000-square-foot space that officials said will be ready in late 2020 or early 2021. Virginia Tech will hire new faculty for the initiative. It expects the research will draw students from its medical school and biomedical research institute in Roanoke and the main campus in Blacksburg.

Kurt Newman, the hospital’s president and chief executive, hailed the partnership as an advance for the project, called the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus. “Together, we can really jump forward,” he said.

The Army medical center that had been on Georgia Avenue closed in 2011 in a reorganization of the region’s military medical facilities. The Children’s National campus will occupy a 12-acre portion of the old Walter Reed site.

Michael J. Friedlander, vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech, said the “singular focus” of the university’s D.C. research center will be on cancers of the brain and nervous system that afflict children. “We think it’s an honor,” he said. “We’re extremely excited.”

Virginia Tech, a public university with about 36,000 students, is based more than 200 miles southwest of Washington. But it has been raising its profile in the capital region. The university is developing a graduate campus for technological innovation in Alexandria, a $1 billion project intended to complement the arrival nearby of an Amazon headquarters in Arlington.

Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands said in a statement the partnership with Children’s National fits Virginia Tech’s ambition “to solve big problems and create new opportunities in Virginia and D.C. through education, technology and research.”