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Sep-20-2006 09:35printcomments

Governor Announces His Plan to Help Stimulate Oregon's Economy

The 2006 Innovation Plan is a roadmap to creating new businesses, strengthening existing businesses, and generating new employment opportunities in Oregon.

Oregon capitol
Photo by: Kevin Hays

(PORTLAND) - Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski received the Oregon Innovation Council’s “2006 Innovation Plan,” and pledged his effort to make innovation and economic expansion a high priority in next year’s legislative session.

“During the 2005 legislative session, I stressed to the legislature the critical importance of developing a strategy for innovation in Oregon—a strategy that enables our industries, communities and workforce to compete in the international economy,” the Governor said.

“We knew then, and we know now, that nothing is more important than empowering our people to innovate.”

And nothing is more important to Oregon’s economy than bringing to market the latest and the best products and services, the Governor added. “This is the story of our future—innovation, invention, creative thinking in research, development, manufacturing and marketing.”

The “2006 Innovation Plan” is the result of a year-long effort by the Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC), which the legislature created at the Governor’s urging in 2005. Oregon InC is a leadership team that includes private-sector and public-sector members who advise the Governor and the legislature on innovation strategy. Its mission is to identify Oregon’s top innovation-driven industries, establish Oregon’s niche in the global economy, and maximize the state’s competitive advantages.

“I pledge to you that I will make this package a top priority as I develop my 2007-09 budget, because I believe it is exactly what Oregon needs,” the Governor said. “We need a plan that enables more people to share in the benefits of our growing economy—a plan that creates jobs and makes the most of the Education Enterprise, which will prepare Oregonians to compete in the world of today and tomorrow. Innovation is the key to creating a world with clean air and water, good jobs for everyone, and hope for every family.”

The Council has developed ways to expand the state’s economy through a public-private partnership of leveraged investment. Today the Council formally adopted the Innovation Plan and submitted it to the Governor.

Oregon InC’s “2006 Innovation Plan” includes the following recommendations to the Governor:

Support Oregon’s food processing industry, with attention to helping producers find new ways to develop, package and market Oregon products.

Strengthen Oregon’s effort to generate electric power through wave generation on the coast.

Support technology-transfer to expand research capabilities at Oregon’s universities and bring new technologies to market.

Research new concepts and train needed workers in Oregon’s manufacturing sector.

Establish a second “Signature Research Center,” this one for clean energy, bio-based products and other emerging opportunities. This new bio-based Center will also promote green buildings, and help Oregon companies take advantage of other emerging opportunities that will replace petrochemical-based products.

“The Center will strengthen partnerships among OSU, UO, PSU, OIT and private industry to create new value-added products from forests and agricultural land, as well as manufacturing jobs across Oregon,” the Governor said.

In 2003, Governor Kulongoski led a team that mustered $20 million in capital and another million in operating funds to start Oregon’s first Signature Research Center, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute (ONAMI), which has facilities at Oregon’s research campuses. Last year he won legislative approval to invest $7.0 million more to strengthen ONAMI’s capacity.

Early this year, the federal government announced its intention to invest $8.0 million more in ONAMI to conduct defense-related work.

“I will also urge the legislature to provide seed funding for an Oregon Translational Research and Drug Discovery Institute - a consortium of OHSU, OSU, UO, PSU and several Oregon-based biotech companies to bridge the gap between research, development and commercialization in the area of infectious disease,” the Governor said. “The Institute will provide access to resources in drug development that many companies cannot afford to acquire themselves, including screening, pre-clinical models, chemical libraries and lead optimization.”

The Institute will provide access to resources in drug development that many companies cannot afford to acquire themselves, including screening, pre-clinical models, chemical libraries and lead optimization, the Governor said.

David Chen, the chair of Oregon InC, said the Council has invested more than 1,000 hours in outreach, hearings and deliberation in reaching conclusions about recommendations to the Governor and the legislature.

“The Innovation Plan is a roadmap for Oregon to apply and align our indigenous investments to target new market opportunities that have the potential to create jobs and opportunity in every corner of the state,” Chen said.

A more detailed explanation of these priorities appears in the executive summary of the “2006 Innovation Plan” on the web, at

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Henry Ruark September 21, 2006 9:27 am (Pacific time)

Steve: You missing facts in story. This Commission created by LEGISLATURE, per Constitutional duty, on suggestion from TED. Beats the h... out of "let's look at this one again" in upcoming political-cult confrontation in Salem Arena...and also better than simplistic "slash another ten percent" via "efficiencies" -- which, by the way, never seem to get defined or detailed, either. INNOVATION: A new device or process resulting from study or experimentation. That's what the Commission produced, at Gov. Ted's urging and on his initiation of proper process.

Steve-Albany September 21, 2006 9:03 am (Pacific time)

"INNOVATION" Another word for taxes, taxes, and more taxes. Definition Source? The "Dictionary as created and interpreted by Sleepy Teddy K."

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