Oregon AG announces reform to create good-paying jobs, boost economy
Feb 26,2009 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Technology Transfer Plan: State University Research & Tech to Transfer to Private Sector Businesses Effective Immediately

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced steps to accelerate the transfer of state university research and technology to private sector businesses, fulfilling a pledge to help create more good-paying jobs in the state. The reforms are effective immediately.

"When I took office in January, I said I wanted to remove barriers between Oregon's universities and the entrepreneurs who are eager to get their ideas into the marketplace and create jobs," Kroger said. "I said I'd get it done by March. I'm pleased to say our plan is ready a few days ahead of schedule."

Technology transfer is the process of taking commercially viable research and innovation developed by the public university system and licensing it for commercial uses. President Obama in his address to Congress on February 24 said that innovations in the nation's universities were a key component for economic recovery. The reforms announced today further that important purpose.

Some critics have complained that the process in Oregon is too slow and that business deals have been lost as a result. In response, Kroger announced today that the Oregon Department of Justice has eliminated its separate legal review requirements that university officials, entrepreneurs and legal experts said unnecessarily slowed down the process of working out business deals. Kroger's plan follows best practices adopted at leading public universities around the country and addresses the specific concerns and circumstances in Oregon.

University officials and business leaders praised the move.

"We are very appreciative of the Attorney General's willingness to streamline the technology transfer process within Oregon," said George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System. "This new process will help move ideas and innovations developed by university faculty at the lab bench to commercialization by companies, and ultimately lead to more job creation in Oregon. The responsiveness by the Attorney General to this issue will make Oregon's innovation capacity greater, while attracting new and existing companies to invest in the state."

"With an eye on job creation and strengthening Oregon's economy, the Oregon Business Association supports Attorney General Kroger's Tech Transfer plan," said OBA President Ryan Deckert. "Eliminating red tape and helping bring state university technologies to the market place will help Oregon continue to compete effectively in the global economy."

Technology transfer benefits both businesses and the universities that engage in research. Oregon State University inventions, for example, earned nearly $2.6 million for the school in fiscal year 2008. A more streamlined technology transfer process will result in more deals that create jobs and send money back to taxpayer-funded universities.

Associate Attorney General David Leith and Assistant Attorney in Charge Terence Meehan handled the project for the Oregon Department of Justice.