U.S. Commerce Department commits $1.27M to PSU science facility
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications
Posted: November 9, 2010

U.S. Commerce Department commits $1.27M to PSU science facility

Grant will purchase new equipment, increasing energy efficiency and performance

(Portland, Ore.) November 9, 2010 — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $1,267,500 grant to Portland State University.

The announcement came at an event held at PSU today, by John Fernandez, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.

The award will help upgrade equipment in PSU’s Science Building 2 (1719 S.W. 10th Ave., Portland, Ore.). Funds will go toward purchasing 175 high efficiency chemical fume hoods. Replacing the 40-year-old existing hoods with new ones will translate into energy savings of 25 to 30 percent—$300,000 annually—while supporting critical teaching and research infrastructure at PSU for the next 40 years.

Wiewel, Fernandez, Brooks, KaiserScience Building 2 is the campus's main science teaching and research facility. It serves as a vital link in the chain of science education, advanced research, and workforce development for healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and bio-tech and high-tech businesses. 

The EDA award comes at a critical time for a massive $46.5M renovation and modernization project now underway at Science Building 2, and scheduled for a spring 2011 completion. The award helps keep the project on track, and meets a deadline to qualify for matching state of Oregon Article XI-G bonds, which will be used to cover the cost of installing the hoods.

This is the latest and largest in a series of awards from the Economic Development Administration to Portland State University and its partners. Other recent investments include:
Oregon Innovation Cluster, $1,000,000 — Winner of the competitive i6 Challenge Award. The Oregon Translational Research & Drug Development Institute (OTRADI), the Oregon Nanoscience & Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), and the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) are joining forces to create the first comprehensive innovation infrastructure to address gaps in the commercialization continuum for three these three industry and technology clusters.
Triple Bottom Line Index for Economic Development Assessment, $495,000 —Led by Janet Hammer, PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs, the Triple Bottom Line Index will develop and disseminate environmental, economic, and social metrics for economic development practitioners and policymakers.

In a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Rep. David Wu, D–Ore., commended the EDA and Portland State for the partnership. “The resulting improvement sot Science Building 2 will continue the advancement of Portland State University as a world class institution that trains the students of today for the high-wage, private-sector jobs of tomorrow.” 

Assistant Secretary Fernandez thanked U.S. Rep. David Wu for his ongoing support and leadership in support of science and technology.

During his trip to Portland, Assistant Secretary Fernandez met with representatives of the recently awarded i6 Challenge grants and the triple bottom line metrics grant; toured PSU’s Science Building 2; received briefings on the Oregon Sustainability Center project, the Oregon Business Council’s economic development strategy, and the Oregon Association of Economic Development Districts; and visited the EDA-funded Vancouver (Wash.) Crescent Industrial Area.

Asst Sec FernandezBACKGROUND: Science Building 2 and science programs at Portland State University
Each year more than 18,000 students take science courses at PSU;
Science education at PSU helps to meet the region’s health care employment needs by feeding medical, dental, and nursing programs at Oregon Health & Science University. PSU serves more than 4,000 pre-professional health care students annually;
PSU is also an important partner for the region’s K-12 science programs and helps to fill the pipeline for science teachers for Oregon’s schools;
Between 1998 and 2010 the annual number of declared science majors grew from 711 to more than 2,000;
Between 1998 and 2010 externally funded science research grew from $2 million to $15 million annually;
Each year more than 3,500 students take classes in the Science Building 2 labs where some of the hoods will be installed—a figure that is expected to grow to 4,400 by 2014;
PSU conducts research that drives economic growth through commercialization via the Lab2Market program, Oregon Translational and Drug Discovery Institute (OTRADI), the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), and the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST);
PSU’s Center for Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication provides a home for research conducted with more than 30 industry partners, including Intel, ONSemiconductor, nLight Photonics and Sharp Laboratories of America;
Science Building 2 houses a number of research facilities, including:
o The Center for Life in Extreme Environments, which recently garnered a $1.2M grant from the National Science Foundation; 
o A test site for the research project “Integrating Green Roofs and Photovoltaic Arrays for Energy Management and Optimization of Multiple Functionalities”;
o The planned PGE Foundation Renewable Energy Research Lab.

Additional Resources
i6 Challenge: 
PSU Triple Bottom Line Metric:
PSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
Department of Commerce press release:

# # #



For immediate release (#10-080)

By: David Santen, Office of University Communications
Portland State University | 503-725-8765

Source: Paul Mortimer, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Portland State University