Healthy Economy Innovation

Spin-Offs Boost Oregon’s Economy

Young companies based on research at OSU are attracting investment capital and creating job.

Goran Jovanovic, Oregon State University professor of chemical engineering
Microtechnology research by Goran Jovanovic, Oregon State University professor of chemical engineering, has contributed to new health-care and energy products.

Despite the lingering economic slump, OSU spinoffs in portable kidney dialysis, solar energy and other cutting-edge technologies are generating jobs and dollars in Oregon. Last fiscal year, OSU spinoffs created 90 jobs and generated $2.67 million in revenue for the university, the Portland Business Journal reported in August.

Venture capital firms, too, have been bullish on OSU-originated firms. Home Dialysis Plus and Azuray Technologies, for example, received investments of $55 million during the first half of 2010 alone.

Since 1982, Oregon State has spun out 23 companies. Four or five more startups are in the pipeline for the coming year, says Brian Wall, director of OSU’s Office of Commercialization and Corporate Development.

“We’re at a point where we’re analyzing the technology to be sure it doesn’t need significant R&D investment,” Wall told Business Journal Web editor Suzanne Stevens. “Then we’ll help make introductions to potential investors and CEOs.”

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.