About Oregon InC
In 2005, the Governor and Legislature brought together more than 40 leaders from the private sector, the state's four research universities, and government to create a new way to build innovation into the DNA of how Oregon does business. The result was the Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC).
Oregon InC is not a state program, but rather a public-private partnership funded each biennium as a discretionary "option" outside any department's budget. The counciland the ideas it supportsexists only as long as it can show it is helping create new jobs, helping create new companies, diversifying Oregon's economy and bringing federal research dollars back to the state.
The simplest explanation of Oregon InC's mission is that it funds individual initiatives with the potential to build or coalesce industry clusters around new or emerging technology in specific areas where Oregon holds unique, national advantages. In recent biennia, those clusters have included nanotechnology; clean tech and green building; bioscience; wave energy; electric vehicles; unmanned aerial systems and digital storytelling.
After four biennia of funding, Oregon InC's return on investment includes:
- More than $490M in federal grants on a $77M state investment (6-1 ROI)
- 90 companies formed
- $130 million in private capital raised
- 11 shared labs formed on university campuses with equipment and research support provided by SRCs and available to any company or organization
- 300 companies utilizing SRC shared labs
- 258 jobs created this biennium
Each initiative provides two basic services:
- Formal and informal business mentoring and assistance through programs such as entrepreneurs-in-residence; SBIR application assistance; grant writing and introduction to potential funders.
- Targeted grant programs that support basic research, assist in commercialization and proof concept testing, and provide critical matches for federal and private grant opportunities such as SBIR grants.
Oregon InC also fund 11 "shared labs" on university campuses with unique equipment and R&D support available to any company or organization at competitive rates.
Oregon's commitment to innovation through Oregon InC rests on the belief that it drives business: Innovation creates new opportunities that provide the energy to diversify and grow traded sector economies; it keeps existing businesses vital by continually developing new products and reimagining existing ones; it infuses new sources of capital and talent into the economic ecosystem, and it helps train the next generation of workers in the skills the state needs to compete globally.