Oregon State University had another record-breaking year for research funding in 2008-09, when OSU attracted more than $252 million for studies. That's an increase of $21 million over the previous year, and nearly $100 million since 2003, Sherman Bloomer, dean of the College of Science, said during a news conference Monday morning.
"We reached that quarter billion without any federal stimulus funding coming in," Bloomer said. He added that he expects OSU to set a record for 2009-10. More than $12 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants have been received by OSU for this fiscal year.
Bloomer said external research funds primarily support people, such as students and research staff and help to create opportunities for a quality education at OSU. About $190 million of the research funding came from federal agencies.
Bloomer said that the university's research efforts also attracted important national science centers - and millions of dollars - to Oregon in 2008-09.
Those include the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, which has been established at OSU, the NOAA Marine Operations Center and Pacific Fleet, which will more to Newport and the Ocean Observatories Initiative, which will have operations near Newport as well.
Some of the research gets transformed into new products, and OSU technology transfer efforts brought in $2.71 million in licensing receipts, up from $2.57 million last year.
"Last year, we had four new start-up companies come out of Oregon State," Bloomer said.
There could be more OSU technology hitting the marketplace in the future, thanks to a deal made last week. Intel and the OSU school of electrical engineering and computer science reached an agreement where the tech company quickly could obtain a non-exclusive license for patents coming out of that academic unit.
"We think that's a real sign of how they value what's happening at OSU," Bloomer said.
The positive news for the university comes in the midst of a recession and budget trimming, Bloomer said.
Monday also marked the launch of Powered by Orange (poweredbyorange.com), a new campaign where OSU is trying to spread the message about its positive achievements and how those benefit the state.
Among the other items Bloomer stressed Monday was that this year's incoming freshman class will be the largest ever for OSU, and an expected grade point average is 3.5.
He also noted that the Campaign for OSU has raised $531 million so far. Last year, donors gave $82 million, and helped the university to its second best fundraising year ever.
Corvallis Mayor Charles Tomlinson said the city is fortunate that OSU is a part of the community because of its beneficial economic and cultural impacts.
Kyle Odegard covers Oregon State University. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 758-9523.