Oregon InC has a unique system to ensure that state funding for its individual initiatives is limited, transparent and accountable. All initiatives are funded for only two years, and then Oregon InC reopens a state-wide competition to identify and prioritize those ideas with the greatest potential to diversify, drive and innovate Oregon's economy. While current initiatives may apply, there is no guarantee of continued funding.
The process begins with a statewide RFP inviting new ideas. The council contacts more than 200 economic development professionals, civic, community and political leaders to get the word out. Proposals are required to be submitted as mini-business plans, outlining the ROI back to state on its investment in the form of new companies created, new jobs and federal and private leverage.
Once the deadline passes, two review committees made up of private sector and research university leaders spend three months vetting the proposals. Their final recommendations are submitted to the Governor for inclusion in the Governor's proposed budget to the Legislature for approval.
To ensure proposals continue to meet expectations after they are approved, Oregon InC's Audit & Accountability Committee, comprised of private sector leaders and legislators, reviews each initiative's progress quarterly, provides technical assistance and makes changes if necessaryor stops funding altogether if an initiative is falling short. In line with the Oregon InC's private sector genesis, initiatives continue only as long as they can show they are proving a significant ROI back to the state, or when they become mature enough to support themselves.