The Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center Research and Development (OMIC R&D) recently celebrated its second anniversary at its Scappoose, Oregon (USA) location, recognizing a number of accomplishments in meeting its research and development mission. Now with 28 Oregon- and globally-based members, millions of dollars of sophisticated manufacturing machinery, and support from manufacturers, government and higher education, OMIC R&D is already a dynamic driver of economic development for the state and region.
“OMIC R&D is the single most exciting enterprise I’ve ever been involved with,” said Senator Betsy Johnson. “We have assembled an exceptional team of ‘can do, want to, will do’ people who are changing an industrial landscape. Guided by the success of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center at the University of Sheffield, our goal is to improve productivity, performance, processes and skills that will change modern manufacturing.” Senator Johnson added, “The future is very bright. Together with our industry partners, academic researchers, philanthropic supporters and government investment, OMIC R&D is poised for growth.”
Key accomplishments that OMIC R&D has achieved in its first two years of operations include:
More than tripling its industry members, from 7 inaugural members to 25, plus 3 university members, for a total of 28.
Secured more than $7 million in sophisticated machinery, for use in R&D projects, including a WFL M80 Millturn; the only Sugino JCC603 Robo Waterjet Deburring Machine in the United States; and the most advanced ZOLLER Titan in the World, among several others.
A total of 30 major research projects completed or underway by faculty researchers from OMIC R&D’s university partners (Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, and Portland State University), including Corrosion Resistant Cladding for Carbon Steel; Robotic Workforce Development Platform for Surface Treatment; and Mixed-Reality Solution for Manufacturing Training.
Two successful Manufacturing Day events in October 2018 and 2019 at OMIC R&D which attracted more than 300 high school students each year, exposing students to careers in manufacturing and education options with hands-on, engaging activities.
Major grants were awarded, including a $3 million federal grant from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Agency for both capital improvements and operations.
Implementation of the DeArmond Scholars Internship Program with a $300,000 grant from the DeArmond Foundation to Oregon Tech, providing full-ride scholarships to five students and paid internships on-site at OMIC R&D throughout their time at the university.
Redevelopment of the OMIC R&D facility and surrounding property with infrastructure improvements including a new ingress road, high speed communications cable; and other land developments to ready for a new facility adjacent to the main building which will focus on rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing.
Craig Campbell, executive director of OMIC R&D said, “The collaboration developed through OMIC R&D has very quickly created an advanced manufacturing consortium that is unique in the state, region and even the U.S. As our member companies identify challenges, their broad expertise combined with top university researchers allows us to conduct applied research that those companies can immediately implement on the manufacturing floor. This is key to innovation and expansion of manufacturing in Oregon, and will give manufacturing the tools to add jobs and compete more effectively in the global market. The result will be economic growth over the longer term for Oregonians and the entire region.”
Dr. Nagi Naganathan, president of Oregon Tech — the host university for OMIC R&D — said, “Oregon Tech is proud of our engagement in OMIC R&D and the excitement that it is generating around collaborative R&D, promoting manufacturing excellence and nurturing the workforce for the future. Collectively, all of the partners — industry, higher education and government — are implementing real world industrial solutions in real time. This collaboration has already proven out its value as a maker space in which innovation translates into immediate solutions.