EUGENE, Ore. - Before you head underground to CAMCOR, a key component of the RAIN job accelerator, you have to turn off your cell phone.
One inside the "full service, comprehensive materials characterization center," you realize these guys mean business.
And for businesses that mean science, the state of the art Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories at the University of Oregon offers access to high-tech tools.
CAMCOR is part of RAIN - the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network.
In 2013, the Oregon Legislature commited $3.75 million to organize business creation at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University in an effort to grow more jobs in the southern Willamette Valley.
In the previous 10 years, research at the universities had spawned 45 tech companies, creating 600 hight-tech jobs.
The goal for the state's investment in the Southwest Oregon RAIN partnership: 540 new jobs in 5 years between Corvallis and Eugene.
Both local cities are on board.
Regional job centers are being set up in Corvallis (it’s up already). The one in Eugene is about to launch.
The goal is to have more private companies and new start-up tap in to research centers like CAMCOR in the UO Lokey nano-science underground lab.
This is where grad students with an idea for a start-up business can get help.
CAMCOR director Kurt Langworthy said 100 small companies have made use of the lab’s electron microscopes and other gear so they don’t have to buy it themselves.
The goal is new companies in bio tech, materials chemistry, information technology - any high tech sector.
Dave Hauser of Eugene Chamber of Commerce said a director for the Eugene job center will be named April 1.
From 4 to 8 new companies may be announced May 8 at a job recruiting conference.
No word yet on whether or not you'll have to turn off your cell phone to visit their labs.
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