Two federally designated ‘Tech Hubs’ announced for Oregon, focused on microfluidics, mass timber


Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Val Hoyle and Andrea Salinas, announced Monday the designation of two tech hubs coming to Oregon from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

These hubs are created through the Tech Hubs program and the 2022 bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, an economic development initiative intended to strengthen manufacturing, commercialization, and deployment of technology that advances American competitiveness. Monday’s announcement also includes a federal grant heading to Portland State University for smart battery energy storage systems.

“Strengthening manufacturing in Oregon is a win-win. If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” said Senator Merkley. “These hubs coming to Oregon will generate jobs, help support our state’s leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and national security, renewable energy, and ensure Oregon’s Mass Timber economy remains sustainable and can continue to innovate and thrive.”

“This is great news for our entire state when it comes to jobs in Oregon and cutting-edge research that flows from the investments made by the CHIPS & Science Act,” said Senator Wyden. “I’m gratified this landmark legislation that I worked to pass continues to generate such positive benefits for mass timber, semiconductor technology and green energy.”

“The Pacific Northwest is poised to play a critical role in the development of sustainable building materials,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Mass timber is the key to a low carbon, sustainable future. I am pleased with the Biden Administration’s selection of the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub. It recognizes that Oregon already has a great deal of experience and some terrific mass timber projects. This will further reinforce our progress and our prospects for the future. I look forward to tracking the progress with the Oregon State University, the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition, and many others.”

“Researchers at Oregon State University and its partners have been leading the effort to develop cutting-edge mass timber that will benefit the environment, create jobs, stimulate rural economies, and make housing more affordable,” said Rep. Bonamici. “Addressing the climate crisis must include making our built environment more sustainable. Having this tech hub in the Pacific NW will benefit the region and the country as we work to build more affordable, climate-smart structures. Innovative renewable energy storage will also be key to addressing the climate crisis, enhancing the resilience of our electric grid, and building a more sustainable future. Congratulations to the Pacific Northwest Smart Energy Strategy Development Consortium for earning this Tech Hub grant award to continue their work leading the transition to a clean energy economy.”

“I am thrilled that the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Hub—a consortium led by OSU– is one of the 31 Tech Hubs designated by the Biden Administration as part of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. This designation will help Oregon continue to advance mass timber technologies that tackle two of my biggest priorities in Congress: reducing wildfire risk and building affordable housing. I am grateful for this federal investment that will bring innovation to manufacturing and construction, and boost pathways for middle class jobs,” said Rep. Hoyle. “OSU is also receiving much deserved recognition for its leadership in microfluidics with a Tech Hub designation by the Biden Administration as part of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. Their cutting-edge research will benefit advanced energy technologies and Oregon’s leading semiconductor economy. I am grateful for this federal investment into jobs and manufacturing.”

“I’m glad to see the Biden Administration recognizes Oregon’s innovative reputation with these highly competitive tech hub designations from the CHIPS and Science Act,” said Rep. Salinas. “These hubs will position our state at the forefront of technology and manufacturing for decades to come, creating thousands of good jobs and moving us toward a better, more sustainable future for all Oregonians. One hub in Corvallis will support our state’s critical semiconductor industry, while another Portland State University-led consortium will promote renewable energy storage technologies. Finally, I’m excited that our timber industry is receiving a designation to help develop affordable and sustainable wood products—something I’ve championed in Congress with my Timber Innovation for Building Rural Communities Act. This is a great day for Oregon and I look forward to seeing these investments come to fruition.”

The Tech Hubs program was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This legislation was championed by the Oregon delegation and was signed into law in August 2022. The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. Earlier this year, Merkley, Wyden and Hoyle urged the administration to approve the authorization of the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub.

Oregon Tech Hubs designees and grant information can be found below:

The Corvallis Microfluidics Tech Hub, led by Oregon State University, aims to establish global leadership in the development, scaling, and commercialization of microfluidics technology for use in semiconductor and electronic cooling. Through the development, scaling, and commercialization of microfluidics technologies, this Tech Hub will create a platform for high-performance computing, biotechnology, advanced energy, and advanced materials and manufacturing companies to collaboratively demonstrate microfluidics technologies. By capitalizing on the innovation of a material critical to semiconductor manufacturing and bioscience, the Corvallis Microfluidics Tech Hub will mitigate supply chain risks and contribute to advancing a technology central to our national security.

he Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub (PNW Mass Timber Tech Hub), OR Mass Timber Coalition aims to be a global leader in mass timber design and manufacturing to lower the construction industry’s carbon footprint and increasing housing affordability. Building off the region’s wood products research and development expertise and density of architectural, engineering, and construction firms, this Tech Hub will invest in advanced materials science to position mass timber as a viable and sustainable construction alternative.

Pacific Northwest Smart Energy Strategy Development Consortium will develop a regional strategy that advances “front of the meter” energy storage technologies and products to facilitate renewable energy sources’ integration into the utility grid.