Innovation in Oregon

The mission of the Oregon Innovation Council is to help innovators create high-paying jobs, entrepreneurs create companies and university researchers bring federal and private research dollars to Oregon in a partnership between the state's private sector leaders and its research universities. In only six years of funding, Oregon InC initiatives have helped:

  • Create 26 new companies marketing revolutionary products, everything from cost-effective ways to purify water to portable kidney dialysis machines.
  • Capture $350 million in federal/private grants to date, on track for $7-1 return on the state's investment.
  • Provide invaluable R&D to more than 250 businesses—including SolarWorld, Intel and Hewlett Packard—using the research labs, clean rooms, prototyping and testing facilities of Oregon InC's 11 shared labs.
  • Raise more than $115 million in private capital for emerging companies.

Help for Emerging Businesses

  • Signature Research Centers (SRCs)
    To help grow and diversify our state's economy, Oregon InC has created three Signature Research Centers with a mission to support and commercialize university research that holds the potential to grow into new companies. To do that, SRCs provide research grants in their focus areas to support ideas with commercial potential, such as creating building insulation from recycled styrofoam or strong 2x4s from very fast-growing but weak Poplar trees.
  • SRCs also provide gap grants of up to $250,000 to help promising start-ups survive the so-called "Valley of Death" between a promising idea and a fundable one. SRC support has helped companies raise more than $115 million in private capital in the last six years, keeping home-grown research and entrepreneurial talent in Oregon.
  • SRC matching grants and expertise help university researchers and private companies compete for government grants, SBIR grants and private foundation funds, bringing $250 million to Oregon.
  • R&D testing labs
    R&D testing labs are open to private industry, providing them critical R&D without the added cost of hiring in-house staff or building new facilities.

Similar programs focused on building new Oregon industries around wave energy and electric vehicles, and bringing sustainable practices to the state's food processing industry, are also key parts of Oregon InC's focus during the 2011-13 biennium.