WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Val Hoyle and Andrea Salinas, announced Monday the designation of two tech hubs coming to Oregon from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
These hubs are created through the Tech Hubs program and the 2022 bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, an economic development initiative intended to strengthen manufacturing, commercialization, and deployment of technology that advances American competitiveness. Monday’s announcement also includes a federal grant heading to Portland State University for smart battery energy storage systems.
“Strengthening manufacturing in Oregon is a win-win. If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” said Senator Merkley. “These hubs coming to Oregon will generate jobs, help support our state’s leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and national security, renewable energy, and ensure Oregon’s Mass Timber economy remains sustainable and can continue to innovate and thrive.”
“This is great news for our entire state when it comes to jobs in Oregon and cutting-edge research that flows from the investments made by the CHIPS & Science Act,” said Senator Wyden. “I’m gratified this landmark legislation that I worked to pass continues to generate such positive benefits for mass timber, semiconductor technology and green energy.”
“The Pacific Northwest is poised to play a critical role in the development of sustainable building materials,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Mass timber is the key to a low carbon, sustainable future. I am pleased with the Biden Administration’s selection of the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub. It recognizes that Oregon already has a great deal of experience and some terrific mass timber projects. This will further reinforce our progress and our prospects for the future. I look forward to tracking the progress with the Oregon State University, the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition, and many others.”
“Researchers at Oregon State University and its partners have been leading the effort to develop cutting-edge mass timber that will benefit the environment, create jobs, stimulate rural economies, and make housing more affordable,” said Rep. Bonamici. “Addressing the climate crisis must include making our built environment more sustainable. Having this tech hub in the Pacific NW will benefit the region and the country as we work to build more affordable, climate-smart structures. Innovative renewable energy storage will also be key to addressing the climate crisis, enhancing the resilience of our electric grid, and building a more sustainable future. Congratulations to the Pacific Northwest Smart Energy Strategy Development Consortium for earning this Tech Hub grant award to continue their work leading the transition to a clean energy economy.”
“I am thrilled that the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Hub—a consortium led by OSU– is one of the 31 Tech Hubs designated by the Biden Administration as part of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. This designation will help Oregon continue to advance mass timber technologies that tackle two of my biggest priorities in Congress: reducing wildfire risk and building affordable housing. I am grateful for this federal investment that will bring innovation to manufacturing and construction, and boost pathways for middle class jobs,” said Rep. Hoyle. “OSU is also receiving much deserved recognition for its leadership in microfluidics with a Tech Hub designation by the Biden Administration as part of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. Their cutting-edge research will benefit advanced energy technologies and Oregon’s leading semiconductor economy. I am grateful for this federal investment into jobs and manufacturing.”
“I’m glad to see the Biden Administration recognizes Oregon’s innovative reputation with these highly competitive tech hub designations from the CHIPS and Science Act,” said Rep. Salinas. “These hubs will position our state at the forefront of technology and manufacturing for decades to come, creating thousands of good jobs and moving us toward a better, more sustainable future for all Oregonians. One hub in Corvallis will support our state’s critical semiconductor industry, while another Portland State University-led consortium will promote renewable energy storage technologies. Finally, I’m excited that our timber industry is receiving a designation to help develop affordable and sustainable wood products—something I’ve championed in Congress with my Timber Innovation for Building Rural Communities Act. This is a great day for Oregon and I look forward to seeing these investments come to fruition.”
The Tech Hubs program was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This legislation was championed by the Oregon delegation and was signed into law in August 2022. The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. Earlier this year, Merkley, Wyden and Hoyle urged the administration to approve the authorization of the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub.
Oregon Tech Hubs designees and grant information can be found below:
The Corvallis Microfluidics Tech Hub, led by Oregon State University, aims to establish global leadership in the development, scaling, and commercialization of microfluidics technology for use in semiconductor and electronic cooling. Through the development, scaling, and commercialization of microfluidics technologies, this Tech Hub will create a platform for high-performance computing, biotechnology, advanced energy, and advanced materials and manufacturing companies to collaboratively demonstrate microfluidics technologies. By capitalizing on the innovation of a material critical to semiconductor manufacturing and bioscience, the Corvallis Microfluidics Tech Hub will mitigate supply chain risks and contribute to advancing a technology central to our national security.
The Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub (PNW Mass Timber Tech Hub), OR Mass Timber Coalition aims to be a global leader in mass timber design and manufacturing to lower the construction industry’s carbon footprint and increasing housing affordability. Building off the region’s wood products research and development expertise and density of architectural, engineering, and construction firms, this Tech Hub will invest in advanced materials science to position mass timber as a viable and sustainable construction alternative.
Pacific Northwest Smart Energy Strategy Development Consortium will develop a regional strategy that advances “front of the meter” energy storage technologies and products to facilitate renewable energy sources’ integration into the utility grid.
Pacific Northwest’s semiconductor and sustainable timber industries to be strengthened by two Oregon State-led federally designated Tech Hubs
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is the leader of two federally designated Tech Hubs – one focused on microfluidic technology for semiconductors and the other on mass timber design and manufacturing – announced today by the White House.
The White House, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, announced the designation of 31 Tech Hubs. They were selected from nearly 400 applications. Oregon State University is the only university to lead two Tech Hubs.
“OSU has long been the state’s engine for economic development and scientific advancement,” said Oregon State President Jayathi Murthy. “These two OSU tech hub teams are outstanding examples of the important role our university plays in promoting economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation and the world.”
The Tech Hub program is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness.
“OSU’s unique approach to translation, innovation and partnerships is helping us answer urgent questions of global consequence,” said Oregon State Vice President for Research Irem Tumer. “The Tech Hub program will accelerate our positive collaborations with industry leaders to develop sustainable, human-centered applications for breakthrough research.”
The Tech Hub designation allows the two Oregon State-led projects to apply for awards between $40 million and $70 million. Five to 10 Tech Hubs are expected to receive those grants, which will total nearly $500 million.
The Corvallis Microfluidics Tech Hub aims to establish global leadership in the development, scaling, and commercialization of microfluidics technology for use in semiconductor and electronics cooling. Microfluidics refers to precisely controlling small volumes of liquid.
Through the development, scaling and commercialization of microfluidics technologies, this group will create a platform for high-performance computing, biotechnology, advanced energy, and advanced materials and manufacturing companies to collaboratively demonstrate microfluidics technologies.
“The CorMic Tech Hub is an incredible opportunity to leverage Corvallis and Oregon State University's strengths – our technical expertise, innovation and talent pipeline – to expand and enhance microfluidics applications in semiconductors, biotech and more,” said Scott Ashford, Oregon State’s Kearney Dean of Engineering. “It builds on the already strong partnerships Oregon State has with CorMic’s key contributors.”
The team is led by Tom Weller, the Michael and Judith Gaulke Chair in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State.
“Microfluidics is an enabling technology for key industry sectors, including semiconductors, biotechnology and chemical manufacturing. For example, microfluidics-based cooling is the way forward for increasing semiconductor performance and massively reducing energy expenditures, which will have a national impact on fossil fuel pollution,” Weller said.
“CorMic brings together our region’s expertise, critical assets and partnerships to enable innovation, accelerate technology development and reduce barriers to market adoption for this technology with critical national security implications, establishing Corvallis as a self-sustaining, globally competitive microfluidics Tech Hub within the next decade.”
HP Inc, a leading microfluidics technology company which has a Corvallis manufacturing facility, is a key partner.
“HP appreciates this recognition of our advanced microfluidics technology platform, and we’re excited to work with our long-time partner, Oregon State University, at our campus in Corvallis to support the local community,” said Paul Benning, HP senior fellow.
The Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub aims to be a global leader in mass timber design and manufacturing to lower the construction industry’s carbon footprint and increase housing affordability.
Building off the region’s wood products research and development expertise and its abundance of experienced architectural, engineering and construction firms, this Tech Hub will invest in advanced materials science to mainstream mass timber as a viable and sustainable construction alternative.
“Ten years ago, mass timber construction was essentially just a concept in the U.S., but with its collaborators and partners, the TallWood Design Institute has led the way in turning concept into reality through interdisciplinary research, education and outreach,” said Tom DeLuca, Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford dean of the Oregon State College of Forestry. “The Mass Timber Tech Hub will build on this, advancing the College of Forestry’s goals of equitably promoting sustainability and innovation to drive economic growth and policy change, while also meeting the natural resource demands of a growing population.”
The team is led by Iain Macdonald, director of the TallWood Design Institute, a research collaboration between Oregon State’s College of Forestry and College of Engineering and the University of Oregon School of Design.
“This Tech Hub designation recognizes, validates and builds on the collaborative work that Oregon State University has done over the last three years with University of Oregon and our other Mass Timber Coalition partners,” Macdonald said. “We look forward to working with EDA and the private sector to achieve our joint vision: evolving the Pacific Northwest into a globally competitive industry ecosystem for mass timber design, manufacturing and construction.”
In addition to the Tech Hub designation, the microfluidics group at Oregon State received a $450,000 grant from the Department of Commerce to further develop the project. Business Oregon also provided a $50,000 local match.
The mass timber team at OSU didn’t seek the development grant from the Department of Commerce because it has already completed much of the initial development work through previous grants, including a National Science Foundation grant received by its University of Oregon partners earlier this year.
Tech Hubs was authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in August 2022.