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News Release

Office of the Chancellor
P.O. Box 751
Portland, OR 97207
FAX (503) 725-5709
PHONE (503) 725-5700


October 11, 1999            

Contact: Philip Bransford, 503-725-5717
Source: Diane Vines, 503-725-5700

Commerce Department Awards Coalition $250,000 Technology Grant

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded the Oregon University System, acting of behalf of a statewide coalition, a matching grant of $250,000 to add a technology development and commercialization program to economic development efforts in Oregon.

The grant comes from the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology, or EPSCoT, which supports state and local efforts to promote technology-based economic development in states that have been traditionally under-funded by federal research programs.

It will support the work of the Economic Development Joint Boards Working Group, a statewide task force appointed by Governor Kitzhaber that aims to improve the state's economic growth by encouraging government, academia and business to work collaboratively. The task force is focused on increasing research and development, knowledge transfer and industry cluster identification and assistance.

Oregon's grant proposal is a statewide collaboration that includes OUS, Oregon Emerging Business Initiative, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum, Oregon Bioscience Association, Software Association of Oregon, Oregon State Bar Business Law Section, Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants, Oregon Independent Colleges Association, International Sustainable Development Foundation, and the Joint Boards Working Group.

OUS will administer the grant with OECDD and will spearhead the statewide planning and support processes.

"This grant really acknowledges the effort being made to develop Oregon's economy using partnerships among business, government and higher education," said Chancellor Joe Cox of the Oregon University System. "It reinforces the view that we're on the right track in supporting businesses statewide. The return on this investment should show up in the form of increased jobs and economic development for Oregon."

Diane Vines, OUS vice chancellor, and Bill Buckley, OECDD business and industry team manager, will serve as project co-directors. Vines said the grant funds will be used to improve the climate for entrepreneurs in Oregon and help emerging and established firms locate and use new knowledge and other technical resources to grow their businesses.

"Many of Oregon's emerging businesses are so busy keeping ahead of their company growth, they simply don't have the time to seek out the specialized assistance they need to solve technical or other problems," Vines explains. "We've created a service called 'Knowledge Exchange' to find that expertise for them. It's a link to all of Oregon's academic resources, be they public universities, community or private colleges. The EPSCoT grant will enable us to make that linkage stronger and better known, and facilitate the transfer and commercialization of academic research discoveries."

"We're really pleased to receive federal support for our efforts," said Buckley. "Oregon is one of only 11 states that have received this particular grant. We believe the additional funding will help us lay an even stronger foundation for stimulating economic development in Oregon."

Buckley said the Governor's Office and members of the Oregon Congressional delegation played key roles in securing the grant for Oregon. Other recipient states include Vermont, Nevada, Nebraska, Maine, South Carolina, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Dakota.




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