It’s no secret that economic growth is driven by research that leads to innovative technologies that leads to commercial goods and services. Those goods and services are developed through new businesses and workers who, when successful, fund vital local government investments in education, public safety, and health care through their tax dollars. This formula for economic growth is what leads to healthy, vibrant communities.

With the right vision and focus, Oregon’s universities can play a more prominent role in generating the research and innovation that sets economic growth in motion. It’s been a priority for Oregon State University, and it’s working. Last year, Oregon State University attracted $37 million in private research funding to develop commercial applications for groundbreaking research. This is nearly a 50 percent increase since 2010.

Here are a few of the essential programs that are helping to create economic opportunity for Oregonians:

  • OSU Office of Commercialization and Corporate Development – The OCCD leads OSU’s industry–sponsored research efforts and the commercialization of OSU innovations by evaluating markets, developing an intellectual property protection strategy and executing research, confidentiality, materials transfer, licensing and other industry agreements. The OCCD is the bridge to commercial entities -from Oregon-based startups to large international companies, the OCCD facilitates OSU research to impact the world.
  • OSU Advantage Accelerator – Connects innovators and entrepreneurs to necessary resources for success with their emerging enterprises. It focuses on high-growth, innovative companies from the mid-Willamette Valley and extended Oregon State University community. Staff, mentors, and student interns work directly with entrepreneurs during all phases of the commercialization process to explore markets, develop products, and obtain customers. The goal is to launch each venture with a robust and successful growth strategy. The OSU Advantage Accelerator links into the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, a regional effort with OSU, UO and cities in the South Willamette Valley.
  • University Venture Development Fund – Oregon’s University Venture Development Fund provides an innovative way to ensure that great ideas benefit the state by providing up to 60% in Oregon income tax credits for donors who support the transfer of university research to Oregon’s commercial marketplace. To date, more than $1.1 million in donor support has helped invigorate nearly 20 OSU research projects with awards ranging from $1,000 to more than $180,000.

The University Venture Development Fund is an issue that The Beaver Caucus has made a priority because the tax credits to its investors need to be authorized by the Oregon State Legislature.  Do you want to help OSU keep its leadership position in driving innovation and economic growth? Register to be a member of The Beaver Caucus and we’ll contact you when at a time when your voice can make a difference.

Photo used with the permission of Oregon State University