How our Region supports innovation and the future development of new businesses, technologies, and enterprises is an important indicator of its economic outlook. The number of patents filed in a region is one way to measure innovation.

Patents Filed 2004–2013 with First Inventors in the Region


Patents are one indicator of the entrepreneurial capacity and economic activity in the Region. Corvallis consistently ranks as having among the highest concentrations of patents per capita in the United States, but our Region overall is credited with a broad range of patents in various industries. For more on the geographic location of collaborators on patents, see the connectivity map on Looking Ahead.

Types of patents for top patent-holders:

  • HP – Computer and Peripheral Equipment; Semiconductors and Other Electronic Components; Machinery
  • Micron – Semiconductors, and Other Electronic Components
  • Marvell – Computer and Peripheral Equipment, and Communications Equipment
  • OSU – Largest number in Machinery (mostly liquid purification or separation); Basic Chemicals; Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments

Business Innovation

Business incubators foster economic growth and entrepreneurial capacity in our region. The OSU Advantage Accelerator / RAIN Corvallis (Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network) has produced 15 alumni businesses in 2013-2015. Their focuses range from solar cell technology to robotics, seed germination, regenerative medicine, and the development of snow goggles made from recycled materials. RAIN also is pursuing outreach in other areas of the Region.

The Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechologies Institute (ONAMI) has had 17 grantees in the Region in 2010-2014, in areas ranging from nanoscale semiconductors to drug discovery technologies and continuous flow chemistries for pharmaceuticals.

The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST) program has invested in eight companies in the Region – start-ups that are developing cleantech products including superabsorbent polymers to help the agriculture industry save water; a coating to improve the performance of solar panels; a microbial fuel cell that cleans wastewater while generating electricity; a treatment to extend the life of flow batteries, and more.

The Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) has built out and manages Oregon’s first bioscience-focused business incubator with lab space, shared equipment and specialized mentoring for startup bioscience companies. In 2015, OTRADI opened a new satellite lab location — OTRADI South — in Benton County.

Types of Patents

The chart below shows that 26 percent of patents over the past 10 years (560 patents) are in the areas of semiconductors and other electronic components, and 20 percent (427 patents) are in computer and peripheral equipment, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Patents Filed 2004–2013 with First Inventors in the Region

Peer Regions’ Patents

Our Region’s prevalence of patents is evident when considering the number of patents secured here in comparison to our peer regions. Patent data compiled by Harvard Business School for the period from 2009 to 2013 show that our Region received 1,156 patents during the five-year period while the closest among our peer regions, Northern Arizona (NACOG), received only 218.

Total Patents 2009-2013 by Peer Region

Federal Spending

The charts below show funding from Federal agencies in our Region. This funding may be for infrastructure; grants and contracts; services to communities and residents; or to promote research and innovation.

Total Primary and Sub-Awards for Grants for FY 2004–2014 by Agency to the Region
Contract Dollars Obligated FY 2004–2014 by Funding Agency to the Region

Federal Government Acronyms

CMS – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
DOC – Department of Commerce
DOD – Department of Defense
DOE – Department of Energy
DOI – Department of the Interior
ED – Department of Education
EPA – Environmental Protection Agency
FHWA – Federal Highway Administration
GSA – General Services Administration
HRSA – Health Resources and Services Administration
NIH – National Institutes of Health
NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NSF – National Science Foundation
USDA – Department of Agriculture

Philanthropic Investments

Philanthropic investments are a measure of the Region’s opportunities, innovation, and civic engagement. The chart shows the top nine funders by dollar amount in the Region from 2012-2014, excluding those funds that went directly to OSU, according to data from the Foundation Directory Online. The graphic details what the funding is used for when it comes into the Region.

Funding to Community Organizations by Type, 2012-14

Oregon State University Funding

For 2013-2014, 84 percent of external funding for OSU was from Federal agencies, four percent was from the State of Oregon, four percent was from industry, and the remaining funding was from OSU-affiliated foundations (three percent), private foundations (two percent), local governments (one percent), foreign government (one percent), and nonprofits (one percent).

Oregon State University Grant Awards by College