To spur added growth in Oregon’s cleantech clusters, Oregon BEST has adopted a new three-year strategic plan that includes a broader range of clean technologies while expanding Oregon BEST’s leadership role at the innovation end of the commercialization pipeline. Oregon BEST is one of Oregon’s three signature research centers established to foster innovation-based economic development.
Oregon BEST has focused on sustainable built environment and renewable energy technologies since its inception in 2007. Under the new plan it supports the development and commercialization of a broader array of clean technologies that can create jobs in Oregon in the energy, transportation, water, environmental, and other industry sectors.
The new strategic plan incorporates a filter system to evaluate and prioritize Oregon BEST engagement in cleantech project opportunities. The filters help assess an investment opportunity’s external momentum, additional resources that can be leveraged, market and technology readiness, and competitive differentiation. Oregon BEST will announce several commercialization grants over the next few months that have been selected based on the new evaluation system.
The strategic plan also calls for Oregon BEST to collaborate with government economic development groups, industry associations and leaders, and other entities to identify and act on strategic opportunities where additional cluster development might create value.
Finally, Oregon BEST will organize its activities and programs into four strategies:
• ENVISION: Mapping opportunities for high impact development; setting the agenda and establishing priorities for the cleantech ecosystem
• BUILD: Constructing effective economic development models; stimulating and supporting cleantech research; advancing cleantech entrepreneurship and investment
• CONVENE: Serving as the “home page “ for cleantech innovation; staging events and driving awareness; convening stakeholders and stimulating collaboration; leading or catalyzing the formation of teams
• ACCELERATE: Finding and fueling cleantech product innovations; leveraging and transitioning university research; paving the path to product validation and launch; catalyzing high value demonstration projects; connecting researchers and entrepreneurs to capital and mentors; connecting startups to corporate strategic partners.