University Innovation Research Fund - Business Oregon

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Image result for business oregon logoThe University Innovation Research Fund was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2019, and is managed by the Oregon Business Development Office. The fund will be used to match federal funds that support innovation and commercialization of technology from Oregon’s public universities and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), that has a direct or potential connection to economic development. The projects should align with priority industries, such as advanced manufacturing, high technology, outdoor gear and apparel, health care innovation, food and beverage, and forestry and wood products.

Eligibility: Any faculty member or researcher with PI status at UO may apply for this funding.  However, there are strict eligibility restrictions as to the type of project for which these funds can be applied.

The Fund can be used as match for federal proposals that require a financial match for projects that will support innovation or commercialization of technology at the universities that has a direct or potential connection to economic development. Projects must require a match of at least $250,000 to access the Fund.

The Fund is not to be used as match for basic research projects or other projects that do not have a direct or potential connection to economic development. The projects should align with priority industries, such as advanced manufacturing, high technology, outdoor gear and apparel, health care innovation, food and beverage, and forestry and wood products. The Department, after reviewing information from the Council and the Committee, will make the final determination of whether a project is eligible or not.

Deadlines:  Anyone interested in applying for these funds should first reach out to RDS to discuss fit. We encourage interested applicants to reach out as soon as possible once an appropriate federal opportunity has been identified

For matching requests of $1,000,000 or more, a university must request funds by having its SRO submit a non-binding letter of intent to the Committee at least three (3) months in advance of the federal proposal deadline. For requests less than $1 million, universities should submit up to 45 days before a proposal deadline. 

Application Process:

  1. All interested applicants must contact Research Development Services (rds@uoregon.edu) to discuss the project before preparing the application materials to confirm alignment with project goals. 
  2. Prepare UIRF Application Form (provided after consultation with RDS) and the following application materials in coordination with Research Development Services:
    • Project Description: Brief description of the project objective(s) and research question(s) as well as the project's contributions to research and/or innovation capacity in Oregon. The description should include (if applicable) a discussion of any other sources of funding or leverage. The description should also include a discussion of the performance measures and metrics to be used to evaluate the success of the project.
    • Project Value: Brief description of the project's alignment with any key industries as defined in Oregon Administrative Rules (see division 123-088-0040). Brief discussion of the project's direct or potential connection to economic development as well as any opportunities for student engagement.
    • Research Plan: Brief description and justification of the plan and how it will achieve the objective(s) and address the research question(s).
    • Biographical sketches or CVs of the Principal Investigator(s).
    • Collaborators: If any collaborators are involved, provide a summary of their role(s) and experience.
  3. Research Development Services shares the final proposal with the Vice President for Research and Innovation, who submits the proposal to the review council on behalf of UO.

Review Process

The Committee will consist of members of the Senior Research Officers Council (SROC) and at least one private-sector representative from the Oregon Innovation Council. The Committee will review requests for matching commitments from the Fund. The Department will also have an observer on the Committee.

Criteria from Oregon Business Development Department:

  1. The projects should align with priority industries, such as advanced manufacturing, high technology, outdoor gear and apparel, health care innovation, food and beverage, and forestry and wood products.
  2. Most of the Fund should be used for projects of $1,000,000 or more. The Committee will aim for targets of 80% of the Fund going to these larger projects with the remaining 20% going to projects under $1,000,000.
  3. When possible, universities are encouraged to pursue collaborative projects with other Oregon public universities/OHSU.
  4. Proposals that return more federal dollars per dollar of State match provided are preferred.