regional research vessel (copy)

Oregon State University led the design process for a new class of maritime research vessel, shown in this artist's rendering. In June, the university was awarded a $122 million federal grant to build the first of three projected ships.

For the third straight year, Oregon State University has set a record for research revenues, bringing in $441 million in funding for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

That number, announced on Tuesday by the university, marked a 31 percent increase over last year’s total of $336 million, the previous record. The 2014-15 year also set a record with $308.9 million, the highest funding level since $288 million in fiscal 2010.

According to OSU officials, the university’s research funding has more than doubled over the last decade and now exceeds that of all other Oregon public universities combined.

A big factor in this year’s record-breaking funding level was a $122 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build a new regional ocean research ship to be operated by OSU and stationed at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. That grant, awarded in June, set a record of its own as the largest ever received by the university.

Cynthia Sagers, vice president of research at OSU, said the grants would benefit everyday people as well as academic researchers.

“OSU research spurs solutions to problems and serves and involves people, communities and businesses across the state and world,” Sagers said in a news release announcing the new funding totals.

“Investment in research affects our daily lives — the food we eat, health care, the environment — and pays back dividends in economic growth for Oregonians. Researchers are starting new businesses and assisting established companies.”

As usual, federal agencies provided the largest share of the research funding, awarding $315 million in grants for 2016-17, or 71 percent of the total. The National Science Foundation was the biggest source of federal funding, followed by the Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Energy departments.

Business and industry provided $34 million in the form of technology testing, research contracts and licensing fees for innovations developed by OSU. Additional funds came from state agencies and foundations.

 

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Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald

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