Bioscience & Medical Technology Initiatives in Oregon

Objectives

Implement the Bioscience & Medical Technology Development Strategy for Oregon, which was developed in 1999 by the Oregon Bioscience & Medical Technology Alliance, a group of business, academic and government leaders. The strategy plan sets forth the following seven goals:

    • Develop incubators and research & technology parks to provide space and business development services to support industry growth and retention
    • Establish a significant base of financial resources (seed, angel and venture capital) to encourage and retain bioscience and medical technology companies
    • Build a tax and regulatory structure that fosters the development, recruitment and retention of bioscience and medical technology companies
  • Develop educational programs that ensure a well-trained and educated bioscience and medical technology work force

Raise awareness of the importance of the bioscience and medical technology industry in Oregon

    • Stimulate job growth by promoting new business formation
  • Diversify the Oregon economy by developing a bioscience and medical technology industry that complements and strengthens the state’s leading industries, including high-tech, health care, agriculture, wood products and the environment

Current Activities

    • An annual Oregon Bioscience & Medical Technology Conference brings leading experts in the bioinformatics, gene chip and medical technology fields to Portland.
    • The Oregon Bioscience Association has completed a study that benchmarks the state’s bioscience and medical technology industry vis-a-vis other states
    • The Oregon Bioscience Association web site (Oregon-Bioscience.com) is undergoing redesign and expansion to enhance its usefulness to both industry members and out-of-state visitors making inquiries
    • In response to interest expressed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, an Oregon Bioinformatics Task Force has been launched to investigate how the state can participate in the revolution in genomics. The task force is co-chaired by Peter Kohler, president of Oregon Health Sciences University, and Diane Vines, vice chancellor of the Oregon University System
    • During his January 2000 State-of-the-State address, Gov. Kitzhaber directed the State Board of Higher Education to investigate how Oregon can better capitalize on the emerging bioscience and medical technology industries
    • Oregon Health Sciences University has started construction on its Vaccine & Gene Therapy Center, which expected to attract the investment and research participation of major pharmaceutical companies. Construction is due for completion in October 2000.
    • University of Oregon is pursuing a new project called the Brain, Biology and Machine Integrative Information Science Initiative. The project will bring together top scientists in cognitive neuroscience, molecular biology, optics and computational sciences to share research projects and facilities
    • The Biotechnology Interactive Program for Oregon High Schools has been expanded to other areas of the state, including LaGrande, Bend and Ashland. Already it has trained more than 9,000 students in biotechnology techniques and concepts
    • The Oregon Bioscience & Medical Technology Alliance is a group of business, academic and government leaders who have crafted and are now implementing the Bioscience & Medical Technology Development Strategy for Oregon
    • The Oregon Bioscience & Medical Technology Alliance is collaborating with the Oregon Bioscience Association and Oregon Health Science University to organize a Toolbox series of seminars that will offer local companies practical advice on issues ranging from patent protection and obtaining financing to FDA clinical trials and marketing
    • Bioscience and medical technology trade missions to Europe and Asia have been organized to acquaint Oregon companies with international opportunities and to raise the profile of Oregon’s industry on an international level
    • A legislative initiative is afoot to revise the state tax code so it will foster the development of emerging growth companies and encourage additional investment in local enterprises
    • Another legislative initiative aiming to rewrite the state’s genetic privacy act in a manner that protects an individual’s right to privacy while ensuring that important scientific research and commercialization is not stymied
    • The annual Venture Oregon Conference, which brings additional venture capital investment to the state of Oregon, is scheduled for October
  • Portland Community College maintains a biotechnician training program that places qualified individuals in academia and bioscience and medical technology companies