Willamette Innovators Night Spotlights Creative Economy

OSU nanotechnology researchers are leveraging the power of molecular-scale processes to create new products. (Illustration: Santiago Uceda)

“Made in Oregon” means more than lumber, hazelnuts and pears. At the annual Willamette Innovators Night (WiN) on Nov. 10, established manufacturers from Oregon Iron Works to startups such as Trillium FiberFuels and the AirShip Technologies Group will discuss how research and industry partnerships are changing the state’s economic landscape.

“WiN provides a seedbed for ideas and partnerships that create new businesses and help existing businesses remain competitive,” says Mark Van Patten, chair of the WiN planning team and director of the Oregon State University Business Solutions Group.

Presentations begin at 1:45 p.m. in the LaSells Stewart Center, and a business and research expo will open in the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center at 4:30 p.m. The public is welcome. A schedule is available at http://bit.ly/w090rx.

Chandra Brown, vice president of Oregon Iron Works/United Streetcar, will explore the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy and describe the company’s evolution from a streetcar maker to a wave energy pioneer. Brown serves on the Oregon Innovation Council and Oregon Small Business Development Commission as well as the U.S. Manufacturing Council.

Michael Baker, managing partner in The Baker Group and CEO of Applied Exergy and HD Plus, developer of a home kidney dialysis system based on OSU research, will discuss opportunities for technology development in biomedical devices, energy and other industry sectors.

At a breakout session on prototyping, Scott Schroeder of Mega Tech of Oregon and Ben Berry of the Airship Technologies Group will focus on product development. Located in Corvallis, Mega Tech specializes in contract engineering services. Airship Technologies of Lake Oswego is developing a futuristic personal transporter that flies through the air and zips down the highway.

Other sessions will offer new developments in biofuels, product marketing and family business. Participants will have the opportunity to connect directly with elected representatives through chat.gov.

WiN is the Willamette Valley’s largest gathering of businesses, researchers, inventors and policymakers focused on creative collaboration for economic growth. In addition to presentations and industry sessions, the event will feature displays from more than 50 business and research groups, recognition of recent OSU patent awardees, announcement of the Linus Pauling Innovator of the Year Award and the popular Ignite! Corvallis, a series of rapid-fire presentations on creative ideas.

Held in collaboration with the Software Association of Oregon, WiN is sponsored by businesses and research organizations including Hewlett Packard, Oregon State University, Silverman Studios, Samaritan Health Services, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, Peak Internet, Proworks Corp., Coelo Company of Design and the Madison Avenue Collective and other regional businesses and associations.