Oregon knew it had the talent and the ideas, but the question was how to get to the marketplace.  The answer was the the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI).   

“Our technology sector needed funds to commercialize their products so our goal was to work with universities and small companies to help bring in those funds, ” said Jennifer Fox, executive director of OTRADI.

And she has kept her word. Through grant partnering and helping to attract federal, private and venture capital funding, from 2008 until 2013, OTRADI and OTRADI-affiliated researchers leveraged $12.5 million in state investment into more than $73 million in private, federal and foundation funding for Oregon.

Bioscience was chosen as the recipient of these funds given its growth potential both as an industry and a source of jobs. So the group built the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator, a 13,000 square-foot multi-tenant complex, that opened June 19, 2013. Amazingly the cost of the incubator was $1 million and by October it reached fulled capacity.

“The pace at which the OBI was filled underscores the demand for affordable wet lab space in the Portland area,” said Fox. “Bioscience has a promising future in Oregon, and by addressing the growing need for sophisticated facilities, the OBI will incentivize bioscience companies to keep or bring their businesses and discoveries to Portland.”

Companies locating at the complex have access to world-class scientific expertise as well as cutting-edge shared equipment, shared conference facilities and private lab and office space. Each client company commits to a one-year minimum lease, with the goal of encouraging existing companies to reach the next phase of growth and to open space for new bioscience companies in need of the OBI’s facility and offerings.

Additional office space is offered as part of OBI’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program intended to support and mentor bioscience-focused entrepreneurs.