Funding agency: 
Business Oregon

The University Innovation Research Fund was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2019 through HB 2377. A division of rules was recently published by the Oregon Business Development Department to document the process and criteria by which this fund will be used to support innovation and commercialization of technology that has a direct or potential connection to economic development from Oregon’s public universities and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). 

The Fund can be used as match for federal proposals that require financial match for projects that will support innovation or commercialization of technology at the universities that has a direct or potential connection to economic development. Projects must require a match of at least $250,000 to access the Fund. The Fund is not to be used as match for basic research projects or other projects that do not have a direct or potential connection to economic development. The projects should align with priority industries, such as advanced manufacturing, high technology, outdoor gear and apparel, health care innovation, food and beverage, and forestry and wood products. The Department, after reviewing information from the Council and the Committee, will make the final determination of whether a project is eligible or not. 

Note that the University Innovation Research Fund was led, supported and is now currently managed by Oregon’s state economic development agency, Business Oregon. Their description of economic development states that “the creation and adoption of new products, services and business models is a fundamental driver of economic prosperity. The young companies, universities and institutions behind those new products expand markets and sales, stimulating investment and ultimately creating jobs.” 

Fundamentally, this means proposals should be able to show how the end research results may lead to new products, services and/or startup companies that support Oregon’s economy. The more specifically PIs can address this objective, particularly in what Business Oregon defines as their priority industry sectors, the higher probability of funding. These sectors include (but are not limited to): 

  • Active Lifestyle – digital health, apparel & outdoor gear and wearable technology 
  • Advanced Manufacturing – metals/advanced materials, chemicals/processes and bioscience 
  • Natural Resources – ag tech, wood products, and food & beverage

The Research Office is developing a range of resources through the OSU Advantage Innovation Enterprise program. Key points of contacts are available to guide you through a range of resources and programs: 

Criteria 

Requests will be evaluated based on the following information. 

  1. Amount of federal dollars that will be attracted via the project and the requested matching amount. Note that proposals that return more federal dollars per dollar of State match provided are preferred. 
  2. Information (and documentation) about whether or not matching funds are required by the funding agency, or whether or not matching funds will increase the possibility of receiving a positive funding decision. 
  3. Likelihood that proposal will have economic development benefits for Oregon. 
  4. Alignment with the stated priority areas, such as advanced manufacturing, high technology, outdoor gear and apparel, health care innovation, food and beverage, and forestry and wood products. 
  5. Likelihood that the proposal will enhance research and innovation capacity in Oregon including opportunities for student engagement 
  6. When possible, universities are encouraged to pursue collaborative projects with other Oregon public universities/OHSU. 
Timing 

Submissions will be considered on a rolling basis. Note, however, that requests arriving well before the submission deadline will have an increased chance of success. 

Submissions 

The submission of a concept paper package involves (as a combined pdf document): 

  1. Filled in one-page application form containing basic information about the project including title, federal funding solicitation information, project leaders/principal investigators, and any public and/or other collaborators 
  2. A short statement (up to 2 pages maximum) explicitly addressing the 6 review criteria above. 

 Contact Tuba Özkan-Haller (ozkan@oregonstate.edu) with questions. 

Email submissions to research.development@oregonstate.edu with the subject heading “UIRF matching funds.”

Deadline

Applications considered on a rolling basis 

Funding type: 
Faculty