In the wake of a federal grant to design and build a new regional research vessel, Oregon State University crossed the $400 million threshold in grants and contracts for the first time in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Oregon State received $441 million from state and federal governments, businesses and foundations for research on a wide range of projects in natural resources, health, engineering and science across the state and around the world. That represents a 31 percent increase over last year’s record-breaking total of $336 million. Over the past 10 years, Oregon State’s research revenues have more than doubled.
OSU research totals took a dramatic leap in June with a $122 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a new regional research vessel, which will be stationed at the university’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. It was the largest single grant ever received by the university.
Revenues from business and industry — including technology testing, sponsored contracts and licensing of innovations developed at the university — grew to $34 million last year, up 10 percent from the previous year.
“Investment in research pays back dividends in economic growth for Oregonians. Researchers are starting new businesses and assisting established companies. Our latest success is the result of hard work and strategic decisions by our faculty and partners in business, local and state government and the federal delegation,” said Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research.
Based on past OSU research, startup companies such as Agility Robotics (animal-like robot motion), Outset Medical (at-home kidney dialysis) and Inpria (photolithography for high-performance computer chips) are attracting private investment and creating jobs. Advances in agricultural crops (winter wheat, hazelnuts, small fruits and vegetables) and forest products (cross-laminated timber panels for high-rise construction) are bolstering rural economies as well.
Since it began in 2013, the Oregon State University Advantage program has provided market analysis and support services to more than 70 local technology businesses and startup companies.