Industry & the Public

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Research and Innovation at the University of Oregon

With research expenditures of over $100 million per year, the University of Oregon is a major research institution on a human scale—we are large enough to make important contributions to the sciences and humanities, while small enough to be accessible. UO's leading researchers have exceptionally high impact in their fields of study and many of its research programs stand shoulder-to-shoulder with top programs around the globe in "pound-for-pound" gauges of productivity and quality. At the same time, those who visit campus often note its strong sense of close community.

The University of Oregon has a long-standing history of inter-disciplinary research, reaching back five decades to the formation of the Institute of Molecular Biology in 1959, just six years after Watson and Crick described the structure of DNA. UO research now spans more than twenty-five inter-disciplinary centers and institutes.

Visit the Office for Research, Innovation and Graduate Education's list of UO Centers and Institutes

UO also has a decades-long tradition of pioneering innovation and entrepreneurship. In 1956, former UO graduate student Walter Brattain won the Nobel Prize in Physics for co‑inventing the transistor. In the 1970s, UO track coach Bill Bowerman invented the modern running shoe and teamed up with student athlete Phil Knight to build the business that eventually grew into NIKE. Former UO biologist George Streisinger pioneered the use of zebrafish for the study of developmental genetics.

These and many other innovations and creative works—from the CARE package, to desktop publishing, to the Smithsonian's stunning National Museum of the American Indian—have been influenced by Duck contributions. Innovation and inter‑disciplinary collaboration are dyed‑in‑the‑wool (some say tie-dyed‑in‑the‑wool) hallmarks of UO research.

Research Outreach and External Engagement

An elemental component of research and education at the University of Oregon is our vigorous commitment to external engagement and outreach. UO's mission statement reflects this commitment to serve "the people of Oregon, the nation, and the world through the creation and transfer of knowledge."

Members of the University community actively strive to connect their scholarship and apply their expertise to the problems that confront modern society. The University's outreach manifests itself in a myriad of activities, including education, community service, research, and technology transfer.