Endowing Idea Incubators

Oregon's eight public universities spent a total of $582.6 million on research last year; the state ranks sixth nationally in federal research and development expenditures per...
by | November 25, 2007

Oregon's eight public universities spent a total of $582.6 million on research last year; the state ranks sixth nationally in federal research and development expenditures per faculty member at public universities. To keep the good ideas generated by all that research in-state and strengthen its economy, the legislature authorized the creation of the University Venture Development Fund, which encourages donors to designate a gift of cash or publicly traded stock to any of the eight public universities in exchange for an Oregon income-tax credit equal to 60 percent of the donation. The first-of-its-kind program uses donations exclusively to fast-track research from development to commercialization, and allows universities to raise up to a combined total of $14 million in tax-credit-eligible gifts. Universities will repay the state for claimed tax credits with income from royalities and licensing fees. New tax credits will be issued as the initial ones are repaid, allowing for a cycle of reinvestment in university-derived innovation. Last year, Oregon's public universities posted 224 invention disclosures and launched six spinout companies.