More than 100 biotech and life science companies, labs and startups in Lane County  – and those yet to be – are sharing in today’s exciting announcement that the Oregon Bioscience Association and Onward Eugene are formally partnering to accelerate the growth of the bioscience industry in the region.

Oregon Bioscience Association and Onward Eugene have finalized a Memo of Understanding to jointly develop a targeted industry growth initiative that aims to create more high wage jobs in the region.

“Local leaders have raised the question about how the broader community can fully realize the economic opportunity being accelerated by the billion-dollar investment in the University of Oregon’s Phil and Penny Knight Campus. Many have also asked, how can we help newly created bioscience startup companies grow locally and how do we retain those high paying jobs when they do?” said Matt Sayre, managing director at Onward Eugene.  “The answer is that we will all do it together. Onward Eugene is thrilled to partner with Oregon Bio and collectively, help advance economic prosperity in our community.”

Both organizations share the goal of enhancing and growing the local bio-manufacturing corridor by providing targeted industry-forward workforce training, expanding support and events focused on fostering entrepreneurial development, and by raising the visibility and the substance of the region’s benefits to bioscience companies. 

Liisa Bozinovic, executive director at Oregon Bioscience Association states, “Our organizations are mutually driving toward developing support mechanisms for high growth and higher wage bio companies and organizations in the southern Willamette Valley. We are excited about how industry and academic collaborations are taking shape in Oregon’s emerging science and tech cluster, spurred by the billion-dollar investment in UO’s Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

“The University of Oregon is honored to be part of this groundbreaking partnership to leverage our investment in the life sciences at the university and build community. We look forward to seeing the long-term impacts of the program across the state, which could include growth in the life science and bioscience industry and economic development programs prioritizing life science as a key industry cluster,” shared Cassandra Moseley, interim vice president for Research and Innovation.

The Memo of Understanding, finalized and signed by both organizations at the December 2 Bio in the Valley event, holds a vision of the future where the bioscience sector is demystified and employment opportunities in the industry become even more accessible. New industry-intensive workforce training and certifications will be expanded locally through Oregon Bio’s well known BioPro program. Both organizations will collaborate to expand talent recruitment to fill hundreds of local, skilled jobs.

Onward Eugene aims to utilize the agreement expand jointly developed programming, cultivate more resources for bioscience companies locally, and deepen ties between UO’s Knight Campus and the community more broadly.

Oregon’s bio and life science ecosystem is defined by firms and organizations in bio-agriculture, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, re-agents and chemistry, labs providing research and development, and digital health technology.  More than 800 firms make up the industry statewide, with more than 100 of those residing in Lane County. The industry’s most recent economic impact report in Oregon shows the bioscience industry provides direct and indirect employment of 47,000 jobs, showing substantial growth in the past decade. Presently, a surge of open jobs has bio innovation and manufacturing companies in immediate need of skilled workers.

The average wage for a bioscience-related job in the private sector in 2017 was more than $70,000. The most recent economic impact study shows industry employment increased by 76 percent in the past two decades, and that current bio positions in Oregon pay 40 percent above the state’s average private wage.

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About Oregon Bio

The Oregon Bioscience Association seeks to create opportunity through advocacy, cultivation, education and group purchasing discounts for its members and the sector. Oregon Bio promotes the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in the region and continually seeks ways to support sustainability, acceleration and growth in the life science, bioscience, biotechnology and device manufacturing industries. Oregon Bio, a nonprofit membership association is a member of the Council of State Bioscience Associations and affiliates with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Advanced Medical Technology Association and Medical Device Manufacturers Association.

The region’s most current bioscience economic impact study showed Oregon’s growing bio footprint reached $10.7 billion, creating 47,238 jobs for $1.5 billion in wages across 820 business establishments. Between 2002-2017, total bioscience employment in Oregon jumped 72 percent among the five industry subsectors. Health-related R&D at Oregon hospitals and universities generated $669 million in economic activity in 2017. In 2015, federal research funding to Oregon institutions totaled more than $363 million. Venture capital investments in Oregon’s bioscience-related companies have increased in recent years and between 2014 to 2017, totaled $76.5 million. For more info about Oregon Bio Association, please visit, or on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Onward Eugene

Onward Eugene unites regional partners — mobilizing rebuilding efforts to fully realize our region’s shared potential for expansive and inclusive prosperity. Bringing together support for startup companies, business expansion, regional marketing and business recruiting initiatives. Onward Eugene is a force multiplier in the creation of economic resilience. Onward Eugene is 501(c)3 nonprofit.

For more information about Onward Eugene, please visit Connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.