Heather will discuss the state’s strategies to cultivate an environment of innovation that leads to entrepreneurship, where sources of startup capital are plentiful. The focus for the University of Oregon CIS conversation is more around the innovation side of that equation, exploring funding for R&D and early stage commercialization through the federal SBIR/STTR, STEM/CTE initiatives, industry matching programs, seed funds and angel investing.
The state is determining what industries and core competencies we have in Oregon that can lead to new or enhance existing industries in a positive direction to create living wage careers. Business Oregon’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship team is looking into applications for information technologies especially in the space of IoT, big data processing, analytics and security as a core area needing innovation if we are to build a smart goods economy here.
Heather Stafford is Assistant Director of Innovation at Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency. Business Oregon's Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Division is dedicated to growing new businesses and industries in Oregon by building a more cohesive and effective entrepreneurial ecosystem. The office works to build a strategy that is inclusive of the state's incubators and accelerators, Oregon Inc. signature research centers and initiatives, universities, private industry, and rural Oregon.