An innovative tax credit program aimed at fast-tracking commercialization of university research stands as a bright spot in Oregon’s sputtering economy. It is enabling two Oregon startup companies to receive funding that will help them grow faster and employ Oregonians sooner.
Both companies have licensed Oregon State University technologies and are benefitting from OSU’s University Venture Development Fund (UVDF). Launched by the Oregon Legislature in 2007 to stimulate research commercialization, the UVDF gives Oregon residents a 60 percent state tax credit for their gifts.
Inpria, one of the startups, has developed a new way to create thin films for displays and other large-area electronics using low-cost printing processes. OSU professors Douglas Keszler and John Wager are among the company’s co-founders.
According to Andrew Grenville, Inpria co-founder and president, UVDF money helped the company leverage funding to explore new markets for its landmark LCD display technology.
Life Microsystems is capitalizing on research by two scientists in OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute. Carole Jubert developed a low-cost method for isolating pure chlorophyll from Oregon spinach. George Bailey has shown that chlorophyll can bind with toxins in the body, reducing DNA damage and potentially preventing disease.
Life Microsystems has isolated a more stable crystalline form of ultra-pure chlorophyll, which typically sells for more than $100 per milligram due to its susceptibility to degradation.
Scott Gustafson, a veterinarian and CEO of Life Microsystems, is partnering with OSU professor John Mata to isolate and concentrate other beneficial compounds from Oregon agricultural products, such as black raspberries.
For more information about spinoff companies, see these OSU news releases:
From Printed Electronics to Chlorophyll from Oregon Spinach, OSU Venture Fund Powers Startups, July 20, 2009
Tax Incentive Program Funds Six Oregon State Research Projects, August 19, 2008
To support the University Venture Development Fund at OSU, see this Web site.