Economic Impact

Sponsored research and innovation activity at the University of Oregon contributes tens of millions of dollars to Oregon’s economy each year. Research and innovation create jobs for the people who live in our communities, pay state taxes, and send their children to our schools.

Read the latest UO research and innovation news

Impact of Research

Researchers at the University of Oregon receive funding from federal agencies, state governments, and private foundations to support research pushing the boundaries of our knowledge.

  • The University of Oregon (UO) was awarded $114.9 million from external funding sources in grants, contracts and other competitive awards for the fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17).
  • Federal awards, including federal flow-through, in support of UO sponsored activities totaled $93.6 million and accounted for 81.5 percent of the UO's total grants contracts and competitive awards.
  • Funding from nonfederal sources — including industry, foundations and associations — increased by 15.7% from 2016.
  • 973 research proposals were submitted, requesting a total of $163 million in first-year funding.
  • Research expenditures went up by $3.8 million in FY17 to $111.1 million, an increase of 3.6 percent from FY16.

Read the full Sponsored Projects Services report for FY 2017.

Impact of Innovation

Discoveries at the University of Oregon do not stay confined to the laboratory—they create jobs and improve the lives of the people in our state, country, and world.

UO research gave rise to two early-stage startup companies in last year:

  • The firm Rhithwir is working on a full-immersion virtual and augmented reality system with applications for gaming, sports and military and first-responder training. Rhithwir is a graduate of RAIN Eugene’s fall 2017 cohort.
  • The company Journalistic Ventures Corporation is engaged in a public-private partnership with the UO’s School of Journalism and Communication to develop and deliver a journalism curriculum for schools that is anchored in student-driven learning, an approach that allows young people to take ownership of their education by creating and publishing peer-directed media projects.

Other UO innovation metrics from the past year include:

  • Disclosures — inventions, copyrighted works, biological materials, software and related trademarks — jumped from 28 to 42.
  • Science-based invention disclosures jumped from 10 to 18.
  • Investment in intellectual property rights — filing patents on inventions, registering for federal trademarks and registering copyrights — rose by 58 percent.
  • Patent filings increased from 8 to 17.
  • UO is now ranked No. 5 in the Association of American Universities in licensing per research dollar and No. 30 in patents per research dollar.
  • UO received $9 million in licensing income, of which 89 percent was reinvested into academic units, distributed to UO innovators and returned to the state.