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Open space inside Gather co-working space on E. Broad St. in Richmond.

It’s a long way from the Dulles Toll Road in Northern Virginia to East Broad Street in Richmond, but the Center for Innovative Technology has arrived here locally.

Long associated with Northern Virginia and its distinctive headquarters near Dulles International Airport, the CIT has opened an office at the Gather co-working space on East Broad in downtown Richmond.

The office will house CIT employees who live in the Richmond area and will act as a hub for mobile operations across the state.

“Opening our presence in the Richmond area is the next step in our strategy to increase our community engagement all across the commonwealth and provide greater access to the funding and support programs we provide to innovators and entrepreneurs on behalf of the commonwealth,” CEO Ed Albrigo said in a statement.

Established in 1985 by then-Gov. Chuck Robb, the CIT acts as a financial support for fledgling technology companies and innovations that could boost Virginia’s increasingly high-tech economy.

Albrigo said the center already has a statewide presence, holding 300 community events across Virginia in the past year.

In Richmond, CIT works closely with such partners as the Virginia Biotechnology Association, the Virginia Bio+Tech Park and the Richmond Technology Council.

“Richmond provides an outstanding central point to expand our outreach, to interact with policymakers and to support the rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Richmond,” Albrigo said.

CIT also faces a state push to move out of its headquarters in Herndon. The state plans to sell the lucrative property next to the Innovation Center stop on the new Metro Silver Line and use the proceeds to boost state-sponsored technology research.

The new office at Gather allows the organization “to test a flexible, cost-efficient model” for other offices in Virginia, Albrigo said.

The CIT has statewide responsibilities, Senior Vice President Bob Stolle said. “The Richmond office is key, signaling that we intend to be everywhere we need to be.”

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