Oregon BEST announces $1M lab investment

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The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center — Oregon BEST — announced Monday that it will invest just over $1 million in university research facilities for solar energy and green building.

The funding, to be invested at Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon, will purchase research equipment and add three lab facilities to the Oregon BEST shared-user network of research resources that are available to both the academic and commercial sectors.

Oregon BEST was created by the Oregon Legislature in 2007 as a signature research center in renewable energy and the sustainable built environment and aims to turn research into business opportunities.

"By helping Oregon businesses access our shared-user network of university research expertise and lab equipment, firms can more quickly commercialize new products and services, which leads to new jobs and addresses some of the world’s energy and environmental challenges," said David Kenney, Oregon BEST director, in a news release.

Oregon BEST announced the new lab funding at its annual BEST Fest conference at the Oregon Convention Center.

Four new labs receiving the funding bring the total number of facilities in the Oregon BEST network to seven. More than 180 faculty at OSU, PSU, the UO and the Oregon Institute of Technology are part of the statewide network.

Oregon BEST invested $800,000 in the new facilities, with an additional $270,000 coming from university and business contributions. Combined with lab investments brokered by Oregon BEST last year, the research network represents almost $5 million in new lab resources since 2009.

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