CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University research funding reached $336 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30 - a second consecutive year of record-breaking growth and an increase of more than 60 percent over the past decade.
In 2006, the university garnered $209 million from state, federal and private-sector sources. Since then, OSU has received research revenues totaling more than $3 billion. In the last year, Oregon State researchers brought in $27 million more from all sources than they did in 2015, a 15 percent increase in competitive federal grants and an overall 9 percent increase.
OSU accounts for more research funding than nearly all of the state's comprehensive public universities combined.
"Our researchers deserve all the credit for this amazing accomplishment," said Cynthia Sagers, Oregon State vice president for research. "They have stepped up to the challenge of securing research funds that support our programs and our students, and create an impact on Oregon, the nation and the world."
Through salaries, student stipends and expenditures, Oregon State research generates an annual societal and economic impact of about $762 million in the state and globally, based on an assessment conducted in 2015 by ECONorthwest.
Ongoing projects funded last year include:
OSU researchers undertook projects to study and manage forests, coastal waters and other natural resources; to protect human health by identifying new treatments for infectious diseases; and to support communities and businesses by solving problems in food, energy and water systems.
Scientists are developing new ways to deliver education in the STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering and math -- and tracking the performance of students learning English as a second language.
Success, Sagers added, is due in part to collaborations among researchers across disciplines in areas such as robotics, marine sciences and information technologies.
"Working with people outside one's own field can lead to real advances in knowledge and innovation," Sagers said. "We're seeing progress in unmanned aerial systems for agriculture, forestry and infrastructure inspections, in genetic testing to understand disease and improve food security, and in software for environmental monitoring and crop improvements."
Research results are finding their way into businesses, fueling economic growth. For example, two newly formed companies -- Agility Robotics and e-MSion, Inc. -- have grown out of OSU labs with help from the Oregon State University Advantage program and RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network.
Agility Robotics is developing the second generation of a bi-pedal robot with funding from the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. E-MSion is driven by an advance in mass spectrometry, a workhorse technology in research labs worldwide. The company aims to transform this high-end research tool into an easy-to-use appliance and hire 20 to 30 employees within five years.
Among funds received in 2016 were the following:
Funds provided by federal agencies increased over what was received in 2015 from the Department of Commerce, up 72 percent; Department of Energy, up 69 percent; Department of Defense, up 39 percent; and Department of Health and Human Services, up 30 percent. Total federal funding grew from $185 million last year to more than $212 million in 2016.
State appropriations for land grant funding -- money that supports work in agriculture, wood products, engineering and other fields --increased by $7 million, from $61 million in 2015 to $68 million in 2016. Funds are being used to hire experts to work with farmers, ranchers and others on issues from water quality and disease control to food safety and value-added manufacturing.