Merkley: Bend Applied Research Center will spur economic development in Central Oregon

Merkley: Bend Applied Research Center will spur economic development in Central Oregon


Washington, D.C.
– Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today singled out an applied research center being developed in Bend as an example of the kind of planning that can give Central Oregon a foundation for economic growth for decades to come.  Merkley praised the vision for the center and highlighted $200,000 in federal funding for the project that he and Senator Ron Wyden requested and which was recently approved by a Senate committee.

“In addition to creating hundreds of new jobs in Central Oregon, this research center would diversify the area’s economy and bring new technology to Oregon,” Merkley said.  “It will go a long way in spurring technological innovation and attracting bioscience, energy, engineering and computer technology firms to Central Oregon.  Innovation is key to our future and expanding our research and development capabilities now will help Oregon stay at the forefront of growth in the science and technology sector. I’m pleased that this project has moved forward in the Senate and I will continue fighting until this funding is on its way to Bend.”

“The Bend research center will serve as a business accelerator for job growth in targeted industries and is an innovative way to leverage federal R&D investments to benefit this region and all of Oregon,” said Bend City Councilor Jim Clinton.

Central Oregon’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and natural resources. An applied research center will help diversify the area’s economy and promote homegrown high-tech firms.  The center would offer training and access to research facilities for start-up companies that face huge challenges in the research and development stage.  The applied research center is designed to create hundreds of permanent new jobs in existing companies as well as help attract other technology-oriented companies to Oregon. This funding will be used to start the design process of the estimated $5 million research center.

The funding for this project is part of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill and must still pass the full Senate, be merged with a companion bill from the House, and be signed by the President before it becomes law and the funds become available.

An MP3 file of Senator Merkley’s comments is available for download:
http://merkley.senate.gov/imo/media/audio/MedfordDental.mp3