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New Research Consortium Launched
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oregon BEST Launches New Consortium for
Sustainable Built Environment Research
Industry members, researchers to pool resources and direct
Oregon’s green building research agenda
DATE: May 10, 2011
Media Contact: Gregg Kleiner, 541-740-9654
Source: Johanna Brickman, 503-725-9641, jo.brickman (at) oregonbest.org
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) has launched a new member-driven research consortium made up of industry members and researchers who will pool resources and research expertise to advance Oregon’s role as an internationally recognized center for commercialization of cutting-edge innovations in the built environment.
The newly-formed Oregon BEST Sustainable Built Environment Research Consortium will increase regional competitiveness while addressing a critical global need. The Consortium will channel the abilities and interests of its members into highly focused and effective activities resulting in deployment of demonstration projects that speed market uptake, create jobs, increase regional exports and attract new talent to Oregon’s businesses and universities.
“We created the Consortium in response to a growing need for a mechanism to drive collaborations between industry and universities,” said Johanna Brickman, Program Manager of Oregon BEST’s Sustainable Built Environment Program. “This allows companies to pool their investments to proactively drive research according to their shared needs and priorities, rather than in reaction to the needs of existing projects.”
This type of forward-thinking research can be cost-prohibitive for individual companies. To engage private capital in these research efforts, a mechanism like the Consortium is critical to provide a safe space for companies to attempt to solve to most intimidating built environment problems, Brickman said.
The pooled investments from Consortium members and research grants will fund research on topics of shared interest, as well as a demonstration test bed that provides proof of concept for innovative emerging products and technologies in the built environment.
Leaders from each of the Consortium’s industry partners came together last month and selected the first two projects to be funded by the Consortium, both related to the Oregon Sustainability Center (OSC):
- “Use of sustainable cementitious [cement-based] products in building components for the OSC,” led by Oregon BEST Member Faculty Jason Ideker and David Trejo of Oregon State University
- “Monitoring occupant water usage practices to inform technology selection for the OSC,” led by Evan Thomas, Oregon BEST Member Faculty of Portland State University
In future rounds of investment, an open call will be issued to all Oregon BEST Member Faculty for funding of projects that address the Consortium’s defined research thrust areas of materials, behavior, finance and process, ecodistricts and existing building retrofits.
The growing list of Consortium members includes Oregon University System, Intel, CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain, Skanska, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Portland Sustainability Institute, Portland Development Commission, Earth Advantage Institute, Cascadia Green Building Council/International Living Building Institute, ZGF Architects, and Green Building Services.
“CertainTeed and Saint-Gobain are proud to partner with Oregon BEST on this new Consortium,” said Aman Desouza, Director of Innovation and Product Sustainability at CertainTeed Corporation. “We support the Consortium’s efforts to connect the various constituents involved in the design and construction process in order to accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable building technologies and practices.”
The creation of the Consortium was inspired by several other existing consortia in the U.S. and abroad. An industry-led consortium created by French developer Bouygues Immobilier, called GIE Energy Positive, provided a compelling example of international companies coming together around a shared agenda.
Through an invitation from Intel, Brickman visited with assembled members of the GIE consortium in April, 2010, and again in February, 2011, and was impressed by the cross-disciplinary interactions between its members, including Intel, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Philips, Steelcase, Lexmark, and Telesol.
“Intel is pleased to be a member of the Oregon BEST Sustainable Built Environment Research Consortium, said Lorie Wigle, General Manager of the Eco-Technology Program Office at Intel. “The Consortium creates a practical, living laboratory to collaboratively prove out innovations in sustainability and energy efficiency.”
The fall meeting of the Consortium’s Industry Advisory Board is scheduled for September 13, the day after Oregon BEST FEST ’11. Members will provide guidance and feedback to those interested in proposing projects for funding the following April. In order to participate in the September meeting, members must have Consortium membership finalized with Oregon BEST prior to August 31.
Organizations with an interest in research in the built environment and wanting to explore that through a shared commitment with other like-minded businesses should contact Oregon BEST’s Sustainable Built Environment program manager, Johanna Brickman at 503-725-9641 or via email at jo.brickman (at) oregonbest.org.
ABOUT OREGON BEST: The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) brings together Oregon’s significant R&D strengths in the key innovation clusters of renewable energy and sustainable built environment products and services, with the goal of increasing research and accelerating public/private partnerships to transform that research into on-the-ground business opportunities and Oregon jobs. Since being established by the Oregon Legislature in 2007, Oregon BEST’s 190 member faculty have generated more than $38 million in research revenue from federal, industry and foundation sources to Oregon. At its four partner universities (Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon), Oregon BEST has established a network of seven shared-user research facilities that specialize in research ranging from solar and wind energy to high-tech building insulation, windows, architecture, eco-districts, and more. http://oregonbest.org
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