Sponsored by George Fox University
Home The Latest OSU strengthens connections with the private sector

OSU strengthens connections with the private sector

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

By Corey Paul

Oregon State University changed the name of its Office of Technology Transfer on Monday, a seemingly minor step but one university officials call a major shift in philosophy that could also prove lucrative. The new Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development will take a more proactive approach in finding and selling research projects.

Better connecting higher education and research to the private sector is a huge issue for Oregon, commonly considered a shortcoming when comparing the state with Washington or California.

The shift at OSU leads to two new full-time positions and one part-time position. The department filled one of those full-time positions with the hiring of Dan Whitaker, who has started more than 16 companies, including Rogue Wave Software, Centralia Sawmill Company and Hotdata, all of which became publicly traded companies or sales to large interests. Whitaker will roam the university acting like an independent consultant for new business creation. The unfilled positions are for licensing associates that will help the microproducts and life sciences departments launch innovation into the marketplace.

Partly explaining OSU's new approach is the growth the school saw in its research portfolio as well as an increasing number of faculty innovations moving into the marketplace. In the last decade, annual research funding doubled from $138 million to $275 million by last year.
The university also has generated more spin-off companies that have landed venture capital. One of those, Home Dialysis Plus, landed $50 million in the first half of 2010.

Relationships differ, but most of the OSU spinoff companies financially benefit the university through an arrangement such as partial ownership or a licensing agreement, said OSU Spokesperson Todd Simmons. The innovators, of course, profit too.

Brian Wall, director of the department, wants more investment in the future toward the OSU Development Fund, a sort of gap fund that targets projects with other investment to pay for developments such as a prototype and make innovations seem less risky to larger investors. Wall also hopes to hire more staff to focus on building connections between other specific departments and the private sector.

The way Wall sees it, more startups mean more investment, which means job creation, higher incomes and new tax revenue.

"In my mind it's critical for state universities to help fill this role, especially with the economy where it is now," Wall said. "We could do a lot of good."

Corey Paul is an associate writer for Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

OB Video: Building trade ties with the EU

News
Monday, June 16, 2014
BritEmbCampionBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

The Oregon economy could get a boost from a new trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

Understanding Oregon medical marijuana dispensary tenants

News
Friday, June 13, 2014
061314 thumb grassrentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER

This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.


Read more...

The role of higher education as K-12 underperforms

Contributed Blogs
Friday, May 30, 2014
ThumbChalkboardBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Since 1970 the performance of our public education system has steadily deteriorated.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

Creating a culture of compliance

Business tips
Thursday, June 19, 2014
DataBY MONICA ENAND | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Nine tips for building habits among employees to respond when needed.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS