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The Oregon Innovation Council will create plan to increase Oregon's competitiveness in a global economy; University Venture Funds will promote commercialization of university-based research
Governor Ted Kulongoski today was joined by members of the legislature and leaders in Oregon's technology and other trades sector industries to celebrate the signing of Senate Bills 838 and 853, and to announce the appointments to the new Oregon Innovation Council.
"My vision for Oregon is to be the Innovation State and the bills I'm signing today mark a new commitment and strengthened relationship between the state and private partners to move us forward in achieving that goal," Governor Ted Kulongoski said.
Senate Bill 838 creates the Oregon Innovation Council - a council of industry, education and government leaders - to provide the Governor and legislature advice regarding business innovation so as to strengthen competitiveness in global markets. The bill also recognizes the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) as the state's first Signature Research Center and appropriates $7 million for operations and leveraging of private and federal funds. Every state dollar invested into ONAMI delivers a thirty dollar return through private investment.
"The creation of the Oregon Innovation Council is the result of collaboration from both the private and public sectors to reach a common goal - enhance global competitiveness in Oregon through research, commercialized development and our traded sector industries," Governor Kulongoski said. "Several key Oregon companies contributed to this success HP, FEI, LSI, PNNL, Pixelworks and Intel, and, as a result, this Council represents some of the brightest and most talented individuals in our state. With their guidance Oregon will be a world leader in innovation."
Senate Bill 853 directs the State Treasurer to establish one or more university venture development funds within the state treasury, and authorizes Oregon University Systems (OUS) institutions and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) to establish venture capital funds to promote the commercialization of university research and business concepts developed in Oregon universities. It also directs the State Board of Higher Education and OHSU Board of Directors to establish a grant program to distribute grants to facilitate commercialization of university research and development.
"Oregon higher education institutions are valuable assets in both growing our innovation industries and growing our economy," Governor Kulongoski said. "By establishing university-based venture funds, we open the door to cutting edge ideas, new technologies, and endless opportunities for Oregon's future."
Beginning in 2006, taxpayers who contribute to the funds are allowed a 60 percent tax credit up to $50,000, spread over three years. Contributions eligible for tax credits are capped at $10 million for OUS and $4 million for OHSU. The institutions are required to transfer 20 percent of income from the commercialization of their research to the General Fund until the General Fund is reimbursed for revenues lost to the tax credits (60 percent of $14 million, which is $8.4 million)
The funds are permitted to raise funds, issue tax credits and make grants to transform research concepts to commercially viable products or services. Grant recipients are required to remain in the state for five years or repay the grants.
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