Healthy Economy Innovation

Innovations to Market

OSU is introducing new and exciting innovations in agriculture, forestry, engineering, microbiology, chemistry, and veterinary medicine


Tried Fizzy Fruit yet? Or the spicy hazelnut mix Oregon Dukkah? Scientists and entrepreneurs have developed these and other new products at the Food Innovation Center in Portland. Other OSU-inspired foods include surimi, oyster shooters, microbrew beers, Umatilla Russett potatoes, Shay apples, Cascade pears, and Clearfield, Stephens and SuperSoft wheat.


New soy-based wood adhesives are replacing glues made with formaldehyde in the composite-wood industry. Researchers have also developed new value-added wood processing methods, nanocellulose membranes and pheromones for bark beetle control in Douglas-fir stands.


Software tools (Smart Desktop, GoalDeBug and MyStrands) help office workers and consumers find what they need and become more efficient. Other technologies on the horizon: a portable kidney dialysis system, direct-drive wave energy buoys, transparent integrated circuits and biological and microchemical manufacturing processes.


Basic research laid the groundwork for the development of an experimental smallpox drug by SIGA Technologies. Patents have been granted for methods to grow microorganisms, to detect bacterial pathogens and to thicken drink products and pharmaceuticals through bacterial polymers. OSU is now a world leader in the isolation and genome sequencing of microorganisms that affect global biogeochemical cycles.

Chemistry and chemical engineering

An anti-cancer drug is in clinical trials, and enzymes for biomass ethanol are under investigation. Other developments include tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and novel optical materials.

Veterinary medicine

Cases of unexplained “stomach flu” have been traced to the Norwalk group of Caliciviruses. Another Calicivirus, which is zoonotic (transmissible from animals to humans), has been associated with liver damage and reproductive problems in horses, hogs, marine mammals and humans. OSU has a patent on methods for the detection, prevention and treatment of this Calicivirus group in humans.

By Nick Houtman

Nick Houtman is director of research communications at OSU and edits Terra, a world of research and creativity at Oregon State University. He has experience in weekly and daily print journalism and university science writing. A native Californian, he lived in Wisconsin and Maine before arriving in Corvallis in 2005.

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