Defense bill includes $6.8 million in funding for Central Oregon Businesses
Oct 02,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Three Central Oregon businesses will receive $6.8 million in defense-related projects funding, a portion of more than $97 million allotted for Oregon nanotechnology projects and research and development of new medical, energy and other technologies.  United States Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith recently announced that congress approved funding in the FY2007 Defense appropriations conference report; which now moves to the President for his signature.

· IdaTech of Bend will receive $3 million to develop fuel cell technology suitable for battlefield military applications.

· Microsemi’s Power Products Group (formerly Advanced Power Technology) of Bend will receive $1.8 million to develop technology related to the use of silicon carbide semiconductor components for use in military avionics applications.

· Mountain High Equipment & Supply Company of Redmond will receive $2 million for the procurement of a more effective and efficient oxygen supply system for high altitude rotary wing pilots.

“This appropriations bill recognizes Oregon’s well-known strength in innovation by making targeted research investments that will benefit our troops, our state economy, and future civilian applications,” Wyden said. “It’s particularly good news for our state’s economy that Oregon’s new signature nanotechnology center received full funding this year.”

“We must always be vigilant when protecting America,” Smith said. “Oregon firms are developing technology that will help make America safer and protect troops abroad. These projects have applications beyond the battlefield and will pay off in other areas tomorrow. This investment also sustains jobs ensuring Oregon’s economy continues to grow.”

The U.S. Congress included funding for the following other Oregon projects:

· The Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) will receive $2.076 million for the Center for Nanotechnology for Thermal Management and Portable Power Generation, the new Oregon nanotechnology center Wyden and Smith announced in February. The center will develop nanotechnologies which significantly enhance the performance of microelectronics for military applications.

· ONAMI will also receive $2.5 million for the Nanoelectronics and Nanometrology Initiative.

· ONAMI will also receive $2.3 million for the safer nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing program.

· ONAMI will also receive $1 million for the miniature tactical energy systems development program.

· Freightliner, based in Portland, will receive over $39 million to continue its program of replacing linehaul trucks with armored versions.

· Silver Eagle Manufacturing of Portland will receive $6.5 million to produce a limited number of mobile field hospitals and shelters for evaluation under field conditions.

· HemCon of Tigard will receive $3.55 million to study the effectiveness of chitosan dressings in treating burns and other injuries.

· Digimarc of Beaverton will receive $2.6 million for the research and development of a real-time geospatial video sensor, allowing the information collected to be directly available for instant retrieval on the battlefield.

· The Northwest Manufacturing Initiative will receive $2.5 million to assist the region’s manufacturing industry cluster; one focus of this project is to assist small to medium sized manufacturers in the region be more competitive in defense-related contracting.

· The University of Oregon’s Brain, Biology and Machine Science Initiative will receive $2.5 million for interdisciplinary research related to cognitive neuroscience, genetics research, and informatics.

· Northwest Marine, LLC of Portland will receive $2.2 million to procure watercraft to be used as barrier tenders to move and service floating barrier equipment.

· Advanced Navigation and Positioning Corporation of Hood River will receive $1.88 million for evaluation and deployment of the Transportation Transponder Landing System (TTLS) to enable aircraft of all types to land efficiently and safely in any terrain and in severe weather conditions.

· InSport will receive $1 million for the procurement of a base layer garment for Marine Corps expeditionary forces personnel.

· Columbia Power Technologies of Wilsonville will receive $1 million to research, develop and construct a direct drive power buoy system, in cooperation with Oregon State University, to demonstrate the viability of wave energy as a source of electric power.

· Lektro, Inc. of Warrenton will receive $1 million to conduct an assessment, for the U.S. Air Force, of pollution-reducing alternatives to diesel- and gasoline-powered equipment used to position aircraft.

· American Blimp Corporation of Hillsboro will receive $1 million for research, development and testing of the Advanced Airship Flying Laboratory project.

In addition, Oregon will share in the following funding:

· Almost $1.3 billion will go to the Army for Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction, including funding for operations at the Umatilla Chemical Depot.

· Nationwide, the National Guard Youth Challenge Program will receive $12 million.

· The national Focus Center Research Program will receive $8 million for basic semiconductor research at universities across the country (Oregon facilities will share in a portion of this funding). The program seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in semiconductor technology that is critical for national defense and economic competitiveness.

· The Metals Affordability Initiative, a national consortium which includes companies across Oregon, will receive $2.3 million to continue developing quicker and more affordable metal processing technologies and techniques.

· Oregon State University and the University of Idaho will share $1 million to develop nanoscale ultra-low power electronics.