CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University is no stranger to industry. Patented technologies developed at OSU are at work in agriculture, food processing, solar energy, computer technologies and other fields. OSU faculty members advise and in some cases are employed by companies such as HD+ (kidney dialysis), SIGA (antivirals and antibiotics) and Inpria (printed electronics). Students work as interns in companies across Oregon and Washington.
To further ties between OSU and industry, the university has launched a “Partnering with Industry” website (oregonstate.edu/research/partnering/). Featuring success stories, campus contacts, research centers and descriptions of faculty expertise, the new site is designed to help corporate representatives identify resources for technology development and commercialization.
“Industry needs research to stay competitive and to create new products,” said Rick Spinrad, vice president for research at OSU. “Oregon State University is a critical partner for the recovery of Oregon’s economy. Our research effort has helped existing large and small companies around the state and has led to the development of at least 20 new businesses since 2005.”
OSU chalked up $275 million in research awards last year, roughly double the amount earned only ten years ago. More than 67 percent came through competitive federal programs, but the amount of funding from industry increased 55 percent over that received in 2009 to $5.5 million.
The new website lists initiatives in OSU’s strategically important categories: Earth systems (including energy), health, and economic and social sciences. Links are provided to offices that help businesses maneuver through technology transfer, intellectual property protection and regulatory processes. "We will make these processes clear and effective. Business partnerships are important to us, and people expect us to be timely and transparent," Spinrad added.
“OSU and our partners have some of the top research facilities in the world, in areas such as wave energy, bridge testing, nuclear energy, nanotechnology, agriculture, forestry and environmental sensing.”
OSU has set stronger industry partnerships as a goal, he added, creating such initiatives as SENERGI, a comprehensive approach to carbon-free energy sources; the Wood Innovation Center, which coordinates applied research in wood sciences; and leadership in signature research centers such as the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, Oregon BEST (Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies) and OTRADI (Oregon Translational Research and Drug Development Institute).