Grant Applications Open to Support Centers for Innovation Excellence

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Business Oregon has opened a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for entities that seek to be designated as a Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE) for an existing or emerging traded sector in Oregon. The size of CIE awards will vary based on the CIE’s proposed Scope of Work. It is anticipated that the state contribution to CIE budgets will be $500,000 to no more than $2,500,000 for the state’s biennium that ends June 30, 2025. 

In February 2021, Business Oregon released Oregon’s 10-Year Innovation Plan, which was built on the central premise that the continued vitality of Oregon’s economy and the state’s high quality of life rests on its ability to encourage innovation. As a component of the Innovation Plan, Business Oregon intends to support CIEs that leverage Oregon’s existing traded-sector strengths or emerging market opportunities. 

CIEs will incentivize collaboration and foster ideation by catalyzing the commercialization and deployment of new products, services, and processes within Oregon’s existing traded sectors as well as emerging markets. CIEs will be public-private partnerships that concentrate their efforts on developing the funding, talent, and support services in sectors where Oregon has a competitive advantage. Each CIE will be designed and operated in a way that will meet the needs of the specific sector and the existing assets in that sector. 

Business Oregon acknowledges that there will not be a single approach to CIEs. Rather, each CIE will be responsive to the sector’s current resources, gaps in support, support from the private sector, and market opportunities. CIEs are expected to leverage state funds with multifold increases in non-state (federal, county, city, private sector, philanthropic, etc.) support over time. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Eligible applicants are non-profit organizations, trade associations, educational institutions, chambers of commerce, governmental entities, tribal governments, economic development districts, and for-profit entities.
  • The Lead Applicant must demonstrate leadership in the sector, an ability to convene the necessary partners, and the capacity to manage grant funding.
  • The Lead Applicant must be an entity registered to do business in Oregon and be Oregon-based, which is defined as having more than 50% of its employees based in Oregon.
  • The industry sector on which the CIE focuses must be traded sector. Traded sectors are defined in Oregon statute as industries in which member firms sell their goods or services into markets for which national or international competition exists. 

More information about this program, the requirements, and the application can be found at Specific questions regarding eligibility should be emailed to

To be considered for an award, applications must be received by Business Oregon no later than 11:59pm Pacific Daylight Time on July 7, 2023. Applications must include all of the necessary documents and should be emailed to Full application instructions are in the RFGA. 

This RFGA is being released prior to the approval of Business Oregon’s budget for the 23-25 biennium. This means that the availability of funding for these awards is not guaranteed. If the agency does not receive sufficient funding for this program in its 23-25 biennium budget, no awards will be made. Visit for more information about this program.

MAY 30, 2023 by Business Oregon Press Release –

Photo by Kvalifik on Unsplash

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