Virginia Gov. Charles S. Robb today announced the appointment of Robert H. Pry, a retired research executive from the electronics industry, as president of the state's newly formed Center for Innovative Technology in Northern Virginia.

Pry, 60, was chosen from among more than 240 persons considered by the board of the quasi-public center, a $30-million project approved by the legislature last year to promote research at the state's major universities and to lure more high-tech industry into the state. Pry will be paid approximately $100,000 a year.

The center, currently operating out of temporary offices in Richmond and the Washington suburbs, will be located in a research center and office complex on land acquired earlier this year near Washington Dulles International Airport on the Fairfax-Loudoun county line. An announcement today described the site as "the world headquarters" for the center, an indirect measure of the expectations state officials have for the facility.

Pry, who said he would assume the job full time in January, called the center a "unique" project that will make the most of the state's industry, academic and government resources in competitive research fields.

Pry, who declined to reveal his precise salary and other benefits, said he has not signed a contract nor determined how long he expects to be in the job. "A contract can be a handshake, I'm pleased to work with that," Pry said. He suggested that if he failed in the job, "somebody ought to give me the boot."

Pry is a retired vice chairman of Gould Inc., an electronics firm based in Rolling Meadows, Ill. He replaces the interim president, John Salley, a vice provost of research and graduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond who was appointed last July.

The center is a nonprofit, quasi-government corporation run by a board of directors made up of private industry executives, state research universities, government agencies and the General Assembly.

The center was one of Robb's major 1984 legislative initiatives.