Business Oregon announced three unique research and commercialization projects were approved by the Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC). The program, called the High Impact Opportunity Fund, solicited proposals for catalytic concepts that address bottlenecks for emerging industries where Oregon has a competitive advantage.
“This program was created to allow Oregon InC funding to tackle discrete projects that contain potential to benefit innovation and growth industries in Oregon,” said Erin Flynn, chair of Oregon InC. “We wanted projects that identified a specific challenge or opportunity in an industry and proposed a creative solution.”
The three awards are:
Create Value from Waste in the Oregon Beverage Industry – Food Innovation Center $142,830
The Food Innovation Center (FIC) and industry partners will study opportunities to convert plant-originated beverage processing waste in the wine, beer, cider, kombucha, and juice industries into value-added products, including functional food ingredients, animal feed, packaging, and others.
Acoustics Testing Laboratory – University of Oregon/TallWood Design Institute $702,218
The project will eliminate a barrier to the wider adoption of mass timber with the purchase of acoustics testing equipment. The TallWood Design Institute is a University of Oregon and Oregon State University collaboration providing test laboratories for wood construction products, but does not currently have capacity for acoustic testing. Currently, companies must ship product to the East Coast, which slows down product development, increases costs, and makes design iteration difficult. Adding this local resource will address these problems. The equipment could also be useful for non-mass timber applications because acoustics can be an issue for other, low-energy building materials.
Expand Metal Additive Manufacturing – Oregon State University $1,000,000
The emergence of Metal Additive Manufacturing (MAM or 3D Printing) has created opportunities for Oregon’s metal manufacturing sector, particularly smaller firms. A collective effort capable of developing new MAM processes, machine tools, and advanced materials could increase the competitiveness of advanced metal components manufacturers. Oregon State University will conduct research projects with a group of larger companies, including HP, 3D systems, and Korvis Automation, while working with the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership to disseminate the results to metals manufacturing companies across Oregon.
“These projects target industries with strong ties to Oregon and address issues to encourage the modernization and growth,” said Kate Sinner, Business Oregon innovation and entrepreneurship manager. “The results will allow both current, as well as the next generation of Oregon businesses in these industries even greater competitive advantages to thrive.”
Business Oregon conducted a Request for Proposals for the funding and received approximately 40 responses. A review committee made up of Oregon InC members, sector-specific experts, and other experienced partners narrowed the proposals down before final approval by the full Oregon Innovation Council. Oregon InC is a public-private partnership made up of industry, entrepreneur, private investment, and university leaders.
Contact : Nathan Buehler at 503-689-3559