Washington DC – Today, Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded over $400,000 to expand the capacity of Oregon State University’s National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design (Center for AWP) for business enterprises that supply engineered wood building products. The Center for AWP is a collaboration between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon that works to promote sustainable timber-based manufacturing and expand the market for mass timber, which will help underutilized timber mills and struggling manufacturing businesses.
“Oregon’s rural economic success depends upon innovative thinking and local research that can respond directly to the challenges and opportunities our timber mills and manufacturing businesses face in rural Oregon,” Senator Merkley said. “The expansion of the Center for Advanced Wood Products will support job growth and an improved economy for rural Oregon.”
“I am gratified that Oregon State University’s work connecting our state’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to boosting our state’s rural economy has earned this federal funding,” Senator Wyden said. “The growth of this very promising piece of sustainable timber manufacturing will create economic and environmental benefits for all of Oregon.”
The $447,231 grant announced by EDA today will support startup creation, innovation and commercialization of advanced wood products. Oregon State University and their partners were granted this award through a competitive process called the i6 Challenge. The i6 Challenge was launched in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative and looks for applicants that provide opportunities to their region and use innovative processes that allow for creative solutions and sustainable job growth.