Celebrating the Launch of Oregon’s 10-Year Innovation Plan
By Karen Vineyard, chair, OBI board of directors
Earlier this month, OBI hosted a discussion with Business Oregon and members of the Futures Commission to discuss the key takeaways and initiatives coming out of Oregon’s new 10-Year Innovation Plan, as well as the ways the plan can support OBI members and OBI’s mission.
While not many Oregonians know that our state created its first Innovation Plan in 2006, it is widely recognized that Oregon has changed significantly since then, especially throughout the last 20 months of the pandemic. Taken together, the last several years have clearly demonstrated the importance of innovation, both externally in the marketplace and internally in the workplace. We cannot do business the way it has always been done, which is why we were excited to offer our members this look into Oregon’s new 10-Year Innovation Plan.
The plan was guided by the Futures Commission, a group of 31 Oregonians from across the state, representing leaders from industry, academia, philanthropy, and the public sector, including a handful of OBI members and leaders. The Commission assessed the importance and availability of six factors of Oregon’s innovation climate, including: innovation culture, risk capital, infrastructure for ideation + commercialization, business climate, business acumen, and physical infrastructure. Ultimately, the Commission worked with Business Oregon to produce a plan for the creation and support of an innovation-based economy.
The strategic framework for the 10-Year Innovation Plan is founded in four principles:
- Foster ideation
- Strengthen the ecosystem
- Tell the story
- Catalyze risk capital
The plan’s vision is that “In 10 years, Oregon is globally known as a model for a diverse, inclusive, and resilient economy: a place where innovative people solve the greatest challenges of our times to create novel, sustainable products, processes, and companies that drive economic growth.” And while the plan has lofty goals for our state, it also includes a roadmap for implementation with short-, mid-, and long-term goals over the 10-year implementation period.
Our team at OBI was thrilled to be a part of this important discussion and learn more about areas for innovation growth in our traditional sectors like forestry, agriculture, outdoor apparel, and huge opportunities for our state in emerging sectors such as climate tech, blue economy, marine renewable energy, and semiconductors. We look forward to the opportunities for growth this innovation plan will bring to our economy, our innovation-based businesses, and our OBI members. Together with Business Oregon and the Futures Commission, we can build a stronger, brighter, and more innovative Oregon.