Northern Virginia's state-supported Center for Innovative Technology approved 94 research projects -- most of them at three state universities -- and paid out $4.9 million in grants in its first year of operation, according to detailed financial records provided by CIT officials.
About 40 private corporations have provided an additional $3.7 million in matching grants, or about 75 percent of the state-funded total.
CIT officials last week made the records public for the first time at the request of the state House Appropriations Committee.
The $30.2 million center, which will be located on the Fairfax-Loudoun County border near Dulles International Airport, has been a pet project of Gov. Charles S. Robb, who has said it will bring new jobs and high-tech prestige to Virginia and the Washington suburbs.
The CIT acts as a research clearinghouse that coordinates and approves research done by state universities and colleges for private industry.
Although construction of the CIT headquarters has not been started, its programs have been administered from a temporary office near Dulles Airport.
The research projects approved by the CIT this year range from a $14,900 grant to the University of Virginia for epilepsy research to an $81,500 grant to Virginia Polytechnic Institute to study visual telecommunications for the deaf, reports said.
The Charlottesville university has received the largest share of grants: 43 percent of all the research funding for the past fiscal year, documents show. VPI, where two of the four CIT-sponsored research institutes are housed, was awarded 31 percent of the grant money, and Virginia Commonwealth University received 24 percent.
George Mason University in Fairfax County was given 0.2 percent of the grant money. "Realistically, we will always have the largest amount of the research done by the largest universities," said Stephen Rattien, a CIT vice president.
Documents also show that unexpected legal battles and other professional fees have cost the CIT more than $366,000 in the last year, several thousand dollars more than officials had expected. The fees were for services ranging from public relations to copyright and patent legal advice. Consultants are being paid to develop copyright and patent policies that will govern the use and sale of inventions developed through CIT programs, officials said.
Rattien said the facility has paid out about $30,000 for public relations programs and for the development of brochures and other materials aimed at cultivating interest in the CIT among corporations and business.
Legal battles over property rights have consumed much of the $117,000 in legal fees, Rattien said. Although Fairfax and Loudoun county officials were quick to offer up property donated by private developers when they were trying to win the CIT, the details of the property transfer eventually created massive legal problems between the developers and the state.
Although the CIT still has not received the deeds to the property, Rattien said officials expect the land to be transferred officially to the CIT in July.
CIT officials also say they may be forced to issue bonds to finance the lucrative package state officials offered a consortium of 15 defense contractors as an incentive to establish its headquarters on the same site as the CIT. The state has offered to build the consortium's $10 million building on the CIT property. The state and private corporations also have said they will provide another $10 million in assorted incentives.
Other research projects approved by the CIT this year include:
Design of Earth antennas for satellite communication, a $29,900 grant to VPI.
Selection and design of boiler tube metal, $34,000 to U-Va.
Use of computers to design magnetic bearings for turbomachinery, $34,600 to U-Va.
Study of genetic defects, $37,000 to VCU.
The measurement and manipulation of hormones regulating stress and growth, $28,000 to VCU.