Oregon BEST taps Mundorff for big research job
By Andy Giegerich
Digital Managing Editor
Karl Mundorff is charged with developing centers of excellence for Oregon BEST.
Oregon’s leading sustainability research group has hired a cleantech exec to serve as its director of research programs.
Karl Mundorff, who counts upper-level stints at BioReaction Industries and Gardenburger on his resume, is charged with cementing Oregon’s role as a national cleantech innovation leader. He’ll do so for the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainabilty Technologies group, which aims to transform cleantech research at the state’s universities into new technologies, companies and jobs.
Mundorff will lead the organization’s expanded focus on growing research capacity and funding by identifying areas where cleantech markets and Oregon’s cleantech research expertise align. Such work could lead to centers of excellence, or nationally recognized facilities or collaborations, within the state.
He’ll also help faculty members secure research funding.
“We want to influence the pipeline of future clean technologies developed here in Oregon, so growing our state’s research capacity is a key function for Oregon BEST,” said David Kenney, the group’s president and executive director, in a release. “Karl is a great fit because he already has excellent relationships with most of our research partner institutions and a clear vision for the connection between research activities in the near term and commercialization output in the long term.”
Mundorff has served as one of Oregon BEST’s entrepreneurs-in-residence for the past year. In that role, he’s helped cleantech startups move technologies toward the marketplace.
He’s also worked with the National Energy Technology Lab in Albany, helped Oregon State University commercialize a unique energy storage technology and helped Portland State University create and run its first annual Cleantech Challenge, a Wells Fargo-funded prototype design competition.
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