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September 25th, 2006
We were admittedly late in addressing the critical issue of technology-based economic development (TBED). Our neighbors and good friends to the north established the excellent Washington Technology Center over 20 years ago in 1983, while our public consideration of TBED didn't begin in earnest until 1997 with the creation of the Engineering and Technology Industry Council - in response to the then rapidly expanding high tech sector's concern over the limited supply of engineering and computer science graduates from Oregon institutions. In 2000 and 2001, it became painfully clear that our more fundamental need was ramping physical science and engineering research quality and quantity, and commensurate growth in graduate degree production.
A brief inventory of these assets:
• The world's leading semiconductor facility, and headquarters for the world's most advanced IC process technology R&D - Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, OR
• The world's leading MEMS and microfluidics technology headquarters, and basis for the #1 revenue (and probably profit) MEMS business: Hewlett-Packard's Corvallis, OR inkjet R&D and advance production operations (also the home to the bulk of HP's nanotech R&D)
• The world-leader in "Tools for Nanotech" - FEI Company, Hillsboro OR
• The world leader in application, chemistry research, and manufacturing for semiconductor nanocrystals (aka "quantum dots") for biotech applications - Invitrogen's Eugene, OR Molecular Probes subsidiary (acquirer of Biocrystal and Quantum Dot Corp, both now in Eugene)
• The in-fab product development partnership between Nantero Corp. and On Semiconductor in Gresham, OR
• Xerox Corporation's solid inkjet technology division in Wilsonville, OR…and many, many more
Armed with the knowledge that our industry assets (contra Small Times, which apparently only measures the number of corporate entities - of all sizes) were second to none, our decision to build on the fundamental science and applications in the micro- and nano-scale regimes was obvious. And where we need to - and are - successfully building is academic research, technology transfer, early stage capital and entrepreneurship. Watch for us.
©2006 Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute