R&D, Proof of Concept, and Limited Production Runs supporting commercialization and economic developmentPhoto of R & D Camee


Established in 2006 by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency (R&D CAMEE) connects industry, small businesses and entrepreneurs with research and development, proof of concept, and limited production runs to support commercialization and economic development. R&D CAMEE is an initiative of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and is housed within the SVHEC’s Innovation Center.

With more than $5M in hardware and software assets including 3 and 5 axis CNC routers, a water jet router, reverse engineering technology and Siemens Go-PLM (product lifecycle management) Team Center, R&D CAMEE provides entrepreneurs and industries with a suite of services including technology adoption, custom production runs, and applied research.

Utilizing extensive hardware and software assets, R&D CAMEE’s staff works with clients to prove out ideas, and improve production to drive down costs.

R&D CAMEE Project Portfolio Includes…

Steinway & Sons—The world-renowned piano craftsman engaged R&D CAMEE’s services to program the company’s Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) routers to complete the post-foundry process machining on six of its grand piano frames and all its upright frames. After completing the programming, R&D CAMEE continued working with the company to design, test, and refine the required CNC programs. R&D CAMEE’s advanced abilities in Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Machining (CAD/CAM) has allowed Steinway to:
o Increase piano production
o Increase sales
o Upgrade machinery, implement more modern manufacturing techniques, and better function within the world of digital manufacturing

Stewart Topp—Working with local entrepreneur Stewart Topp, R&D CAMEE helped engineer, prototype, and produce Topp’s Blind Stapler Tool—an innovative product for the cabinet making industry. Mr. Topp hopes to commercialize his invention and create a sustainable business in Southern Virginia.

Virginia Tech College of Architecture & Design—R&D CAMEE’s latest project with the Commonwealth’s premier research universities includes a collaboration with Dr. Kay Edge and her students in the VT College of Architecture & Design. Dr. Kay and her students have been working with the city of Radford to design a train-viewing platform to highlight the city’s storied railroad history. Made of Southern Yellow Pine Cross Laminated Timbers or CLTs, the platform will provide an attractive, sustainable observation deck along the banks of the New River. R&D CAMEE will prep, press, and produce the CLTs. The project builds upon R&D CAMEE’s work in 2012-2014 when its staff completed a substantial project to certify Southern Yellow Pine as a suitable building material for CLTs.