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Dec-02-2008 01:00printcomments

2009 Innovation Plan Included in Governor's Budget

Oregon InC Chair Thanks Governor for his Commitment to Oregon's Economic Future.

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski
Photo by: Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - Governor Ted Kulongoski's proposed 2009-11 Budget includes $20.5 million to continue the work of the Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC), which brings together the best thinking from business, higher education and government to retain and create living-wage jobs across the state.

The Governor and Legislature created Oregon InC in 2005 to help grow existing businesses and bolster the innovative research that leads to the creation of new industries; increase the access start ups have to public and private funding, and help Oregon become a global leader in emerging industries such as nanoscience, renewable energy and sustainability.

The 2009-11 recommendations continue funding seven existing programs and add an initiative aimed at bolstering Oregon's forestry industry - the nation's largest producer of lumber and a critical source of employment in 15 counties. The proposals include:

  • ONAMI – the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, the state's first Signature Research Center, facilitates collaboration between private industry and the state's universities in "green" nanotechnology and energy generation. An outside evaluation concluded ONAMI would create 608 new jobs by 2011, and as many as 1,363 by 2013.
  • Forestry Initiative – the proposal would help the Oregon timber industry integrate research and technology developed in different labs to increase tree production; save transportation costs and helps commercialize new products.
  • Seafood Initiative - provides direct product and market development support to Oregon's seafood industry.
  • Oregon Wave Energy Trust – helping build a clean energy industry from wave power.
  • Food Processing Initiative – helps retain and create jobs in a $6.1 billion industry that employs more than 23,000 Oregonians by making food processors more competitive.
  • OTRADI – the Oregon Translational Research & Drug Development Institute has identified over 50 new chemicals for possible use in fighting infectious diseases, including Malaria, Staph bacteria, fungal infections, and food poisoning caused by E.coli bacteria. Is providing Oregon research laboratories and companies with access to previously out-of-reach drug screening and testing equipment as well as the expertise necessary to analyze results and quickly bring products to market.
  • Oregon BEST – the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Institute helps the state's green businesses, biofuels, biomass energy, bio-based products and other renewable energy technologies develop new products and services.
  • Manufacturing Initiative – Helping add facilities and assessment tools at Portland State University to support an industry that employs more than one in ten Oregon workers and pays up to 35% more than the state's average wage.David Chen, Oregon InC Chairman, thanked the Governor for this strong commitment to Oregon's economic future and noted the unprecedented private-public partnership that continues to fuel the Council's work

"I thank the Governor for his support of these innovative ideas at a time when he must make difficult decisions to protect the welfare of every Oregonian. I support the Governor's belief that the best way to keep Oregon competitive in the global economy is for Oregon private businesses, universities and government to work together to identify and leverage their strengths and shared resources.

Tim McCabe, director of the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, echoed Chen's praise of the Governor's vision.

"These proposals ensure that as our economy improves, Oregon will emerge stronger, more diversified, and in a better position to lead America into the future," said McCabe.

The full 2009 Innovation Plan is available online at:

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Sallie December 3, 2008 5:21 pm (Pacific time)

Is there a report or follow-up on what the taxpayer has gotten in return for this $20.5 million dollar investment?

What have all these goals accomplished? How many jobs were created? What's the bottom line?

Editor: Sallie, we will follow this as you suggested, look for that in a few days.

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