Governor Proposes $20.5M in Lottery Funds for Continuing Oregon Innovation Efforts
Gov. Ted Kulongoski unveiled his fiscal year 2009-11 recommended budget this week, highlighting the need for targeted investments in nanoscience, manufacturing, and renewable energy research based on recommendations developed by the Oregon Innovation Council. The governor’s plan aims to expand and diversify the state’s economic base by attracting new industries and companies, building on the $28.2 million innovation plan signed into law last year (see the Aug. 1, 2007 issue of the Digest).
The governor’s budget proposal dedicates $20.5 million from lottery funds across the following:
* $5.7 million for the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), the state’s first signature research center that conducts R&D in micro- and nanotechnology;
* $3.5 million for wave energy research;
* $3.2 million to continue renewable energy investments through the Bio-Economy and Sustainable Technologies signature research center;
* $2.8 million for the Oregon Translational Research and Drug Discovery Institute, which focuses on R&D and commercialization in controlling infectious disease;
* $2.3 million for the Forestry Cluster Initiative to increase technology development and commercialization efforts; and
* $1 million for R&D in Oregon’s manufacturing sector to ensure future competitiveness.
In addition to funding the innovation proposals, Gov. Kulongoski’s recommended budget funds several proposals under his climate change agenda, including:
* A targeted increase in the Business Energy Tax Credit from 35 to 50 percent of project costs for industrial-scale investments in energy efficiency;
* $2.8 million for the Oregon Solutions Program to continue facilitation of sustainability and renewable energy projects across the state;
* $2 million in a renewable energy fund for development of community-scale demonstration projects;
* $2.5 million in tax credits for full electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles; and
* $695,000 to expand research on the impacts of global warming through the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute.
To ensure a long-term comprehensive state plan for Oregon’s energy needs, the governor recommends $800,000 to establish the Oregon Energy Planning Council. Modeled after the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the council would comprise energy experts charged with assessing the state’s energy needs.
The governor’s FY 2009-11 biennial budget recommends $396.2 million in total funding for the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department – down $18.75 million from the FY 2007-09 approved budget. Targeting workforce related investments aimed at creating high-wage jobs, the governor recommends $3 million for the Engineering and Technology Investment Council to enhance university research in clean technology and sustainability. The resources also will be used to retain Oregon students in engineering and computer science fields. Additionally, the governor recommends $1.35 million for community colleges to develop career training programs in clean energy, manufacturing, healthcare and other high-wage occupations in partnership with area high schools and workforce boards.
Gov. Kulongoski’s FY 2009-11 recommended budget is available at: http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/BAM/GRB0911intro.shtml
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