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The University of Oregon has received a three-year, $435,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Innovation Program to launch the Oregon Technology Entrepreneurship Consortium (OTEC).
OTEC will form a network connecting Oregon's research universities, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) and private industry to infuse Oregon's economy with cutting-edge technologies, start-up companies, and a pipeline of university-trained scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
"OTEC is emerging as the university's flagship initiative for integrating graduate education in science, business and law," said Rich Linton, the University of Oregon's vice president for research. "Working in interdisciplinary teams gives our students real-world experience not available in any other academic program. Graduate students participating in OTEC's pilot project have found their employment opportunities enhanced, and PNNL and the UO have gained valuable insights into the market applications of our technology portfolios."
To leverage the three-year NSF grant, ONAMI has awarded OTEC an additional $45,000 matching grant, bringing total funding to $480,000.
"OTEC will add a unique dimension to what is already a vibrant collaboration between industry, academe and state government," said Skip Rung, president of ONAMI, the state's signature research center.
The NSF proposal was prepared by Alan Meyer, Lundquist Professor of Entrepreneurial Management at UO's Charles H. Lundquist College of Business (LCB), with input from James Bean, dean of the LCB; Randy Swangard, who directs the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship; Barbara Aldave, Stewart Professor of Business Law at UO; and Ron Adams, Oregon State University's dean of engineering.
"The funding from NSF and ONAMI will let us mobilize the knowledge and energy of our talented graduate students and faculty," said James Bean, LCB dean. "I hope OTEC can become an engine to create new jobs and companies that fuel Oregon's economic growth."
OTEC builds on the success of the University of Oregon's Technology Entrepreneurship Program (TEP), a six-year-old collaboration between the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business, School of Law, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Technology Transfer and PNNL.
Through TEP, interdisciplinary graduate student teams are awarded paid summer internships to evaluate university and PNNL technologies and identify commercial applications. When UO classes resume in the fall, teams enroll in the LCB's entrepreneurship courses, where faculty and mentors from the business community help them to develop professional business plans. Several of these teams have spun out of the classroom to launch Oregon-based businesses.
OTEC will build on the success of TEP by integrating Oregon State University's strong engineering program, and by bringing ONAMI and private sector corporate partners into the network. Industry partners include Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, IBM, Intel, FEI, EGI, Tripwire, Kryptiq, OVP Venture Partners, Austin Capital, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Northwest Technology Ventures, and Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.
During its three years of NSF funding, OTEC plans to support 60 graduate student "fellows" working in inter-university teams with the consortium's participating public and private partners. When the grant ends, OTEC expects to have secured permanent program funding through Oregon Senate Bill 582, which offers tax credits in exchange for private and corporate donations to university technology transfer and entrepreneurship education.
The University of Oregon was one of 11 of 206 applicants from prominent universities to receive funding in 2007 from the National Science Foundation's Partnership for Innovation Program (PFI). Among the others receiving PFI grants are Rutgers University, University of Florida, University of South Carolina, University of Texas-Austin, University of Virginia and Virginia Polytechnic University.
Link: Lundquist College of Business, http://lcb.uoregon.edu/
About University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research university located in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon. The UO offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for learning in the liberal arts and professional programs in architecture, arts, business, education, journalism, law, and music and dance. In the classrooms and laboratories, students are inspired by a faculty of prominent scholars and work side by side with eminent researchers involved in breakthrough discoveries. At the UO, both students and faculty members reach out to make connections that serve communities from small local groups to large international organizations.
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