ONAMI is Oregon’s first ‘Signature Research Center’ and a multi-level collaboration among Oregon’s research universities, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and industry in the “Silicon Forest” high-tech cluster that is home to the world’s leading semiconductor, MEMS, nanotechnology tools and quantum dot industrial sites. The result of a 2002 state study to identify the most promising investment opportunity for innovation-based economic development in Oregon, the ONAMI project was launched inside the Oregon University System in late 2003 with $20M in bonding authority and $1M in startup funding to grow nano/micro research activity and accelerate commercialization. Following initial success, ONAMI incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2005 and has subsequently received $232M in operating funding (including $6M recommended for FY13-15 by the Oregon Innovation Council), which it uses for three main programs: cost-share support for major collaborative federal and industry-funded research by ONAMI member researchers, shared user facility promotion and first-time user matching grants, and a professionally managed (fund manager, 3 Entrepreneurs in Residence) commercialization gap fund.
Since 2004, annual research volume has grown 4x, and 25 gap-funded startups have raised $120M ($106M private capital, $14M grants and other). Total leverage to the state as of July 1, 2013 is over $400M, more than 14x operating funds and 8x total funds (the $20M capital assets have many years of contribution remaining). ONAMI is a co-recipient of a 2010 i6 Challenge award, and has been cited by the National Governors Association as a leading example of a collaborative innovation cluster (e.g. NGA Chairs Initiative report “Growing State Economies: Twelve Actions”, July 2012).
Since 2004, annual research volume has grown 4x, and 25 gap-funded startups have raised $113M ($99M private capital, $14M grants and other). Total leverage to the state as of October 1, 2012 is $386M, which is 14x operating funds and 8x total funds (the $20M capital assets have many years of contribution remaining). ONAMI is a co-recipient of a 2010 i6 Challenge award, and has been cited by the National Governors Association as a leading example of a collaborative innovation cluster (e.g. NGA Chairs Initiative report “Growing State Economies: Twelve Actions”, July 2012).
Major success — Commercialization of Green Nanotechnology
Two of ONAMI’s main nanotechnology emphases from the beginning have been green nanoscience (12 principles of Green Chemistry applied to nanomaterial design and synthesis) and high-performance inorganic films for electronic and optical applications (including transparent electronics). The culmination of many years’ programmatic and facility investments is the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry, an NSF Phase II Center for Chemical Innovation. CSMC specializes in atomically smooth and atomically dense inorganic films prepared with aqueous solution methods. The Phase I center had one venture-backed (several $M series A, Phase I &II NSF SBIRs) spinout company, Inpria, that develops high-performance inorganic photoresists, MEMS hardmasks, and other advanced coatings. The Phase II Center has just spun out Amorphyx, which will dramatically improve the capital efficiency, profitability and environmental impact of the worldwide flat panel and flexible substrate display industry. Other notable green nanotechnology companies in the ONAMI gap fund portfolio are Pacific Light Technologies (nano-phosphors, $3.25M series A), CSD Nano (anti-reflective coatings, Phase I &II NSF STTRs), Puralytics (nano-photocatalytic water purification; 2010 National Cleantech Open winner; NSF SBIR) and Energy Storage Systems (novel redox flow battery architecture and Fe chemistry, $1.725M ARPA-E award).
Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute
Oregon Signature Research Center
P.O. Box 2041
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Robert D. "Skip" Rung
President and Executive Director