Advancing American Competitiveness: CorMic's Pursuit of Tech Hub Funding

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Tom Weller working on a project with a student

 

February 29 marked a major milestone for the Corvallis Microfluidics Tech Hub, or CorMic, as the consortium submitted their proposal to the U.S. Economic Development Administration to be considered for up to $70 million in funding as part of the Biden Administration’s Tech Hub Program. As one of the 31 Tech Hubs designated by the Biden Administration in October, CorMic has positioned itself to become a global leader in microfluidics over the next decade.

The Tech Hub Program aims to enhance both the economic and national security of the United States by making strategic investments in regions across the country. Hubs are selected based on their potential to achieve global competitiveness in valuable technologies and industries, encourage the growth of industries and innovation, and create high-quality, good-paying jobs.

CorMic is a consortium that includes over 60 members across Oregon's global technology leaders, academic institutions, and community organizations, led by Oregon State University. The CorMic consortium is a diverse, strong, collaborative group at the forefront of developing, scaling, and commercializing microfluidics technologies that range from high-speed computing to life-saving biosciences applications.

The Critical Role of Microfluidics

Microfluidics, a vital component of the semiconductor industry, is key to reducing energy usage by manipulating small volumes of liquid to cool cutting-edge computer chips. Advancements in this field are essential to achieving national emissions reduction goals and ensuring that AI and other advanced computing technologies consume less energy. Microfluidics also harbors significant promise for advancing key sectors vital to national security and economic resiliency and prosperity including biotechnology, advanced energy technologies, and advanced materials and manufacturing.

High-Quality Jobs and Collaborative Workforce Development

Oregon's collaborative spirit across sectors and geographies is exemplified by CorMic's efforts to bring in new community-based organizations and companies. CorMic Tech Hub is estimated to contribute between $1 billion to $2 billion in GDP value annually and generate between 5,000 and 12,000 new high-wage jobs in the region, especially in historically underserved communities.

Microfluidics: Transforming Industries

CorMic members are already leveraging microfluidics in groundbreaking ways. Oregon Health and Science University, for example, is using microfluidics to 3-D print artificial cells for personalized cancer treatments. HP is expanding space for start-ups in Corvallis, employing a "Labs in Fabs" model to bring students and graduates opportunities to foster advanced manufacturing using microfluidics. Meanwhile, Oregon State-spinout Inpria is revolutionizing microchip production with new materials for the next generation of computer chips.

Private-Public Partnerships: Acceleration of Innovation

CorMic's work exemplifies successful private-public partnerships. The collaboration between academia, healthcare institutions, and industry players is driving innovation and helping speed groundbreaking ideas to the market. This approach ensures the rapid development and deployment of transformative technologies.

To learn more about CorMic, please visit CorMicTechHub.org

Feb. 29, 2024

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