Oregon Statutes - Chapter 353 - Oregon Health and Science University - Section 353.556 - Purpose; policy; findings; intent.

(1) The purpose of ORS 353.550 to 353.563 and sections 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18, chapter 921, Oregon Laws 2001, is to directly or indirectly finance Oregon Health and Science Universityís Oregon Opportunity program.

(2) It is the policy of the State of Oregon that, in order to capture the health and economic benefits of the coming biotechnology boom for all Oregonians, the state enter into a partnership with Oregon Health and Science University to enhance medical research.

(3) The Legislative Assembly finds that:

(a) Oregon should take advantage of research breakthroughs in biomedicine, health care and technology that are opening an unprecedented new era. Research advances will someday show scientists how to block or replace genes that cause disease. The state should seize the opportunity to provide all Oregonians access to leading edge therapies and procedures.

(b) Research breakthroughs are expected to fuel tremendous economic growth, and Oregon must be poised to capitalize on these breakthroughs. Biotechnology is likely to be the next great economic engine in the United States, and the state should take positive action to ensure Oregonís participation in this emerging and important industry. A public commitment to biomedical and related research in Oregon is necessary to drive the formation, expansion and proliferation of biotechnology companies that will commercialize myriad new treatments, medications, biomedical equipment and other technology.

(c) The state should support Oregon Health and Science University in its efforts to continue to grow as a research power and an economic engine. Biomedical and technology research is necessary to create intellectual property, which serves as the raw material for biotechnology companies. The state should assist Oregon Health and Science University in securing the needed infrastructure to attain a critical mass of research talent in order to maximize the number of commercially viable discoveries.

(d) There is a limited window of opportunity to capitalize on the surge in biotechnology growth, stemming from the completion of the United States Human Genome Project.

(4) It is the intent of the Legislative Assembly that:

(a) Oregon Health and Science University pursue the Oregon Opportunity program in a manner that is consistent with the public missions stated in ORS 353.030 (2), which directs the university to strive for excellence in education, research, clinical practice, scholarship and community service while maintaining compassion, personal and institutional integrity and leadership in carrying out its missions;

(b) The Oregon Opportunity program benefit all Oregonians through increased medical research and sustainable economic development from biotechnology and related fields; and

(c) The State Treasurer shall issue pursuant to a grant agreement, as soon as practicable, general obligation bonds during the 2001-2003 and 2003-2005 biennia in an aggregate principal amount that produces net proceeds for the Oregon Opportunity program in an amount equal to $200 million plus the amount of any costs and expenses of issuing the bonds.

(5) To maximize the benefits of low interest tax-exempt bonds, costs of the Oregon Opportunity program may be financed directly or indirectly by the state. [2001 c.921 §4; 2001 c.921 §4a]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008