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Help For Blue Economy


RAIN ( Regional Accelerator Innovation Network) + the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center (Hatfield) recently secured a U.S. EDA federal grant to develop blue economy (maritime) tools and technologies. With this project, RAIN & Hatfield will collaborate to promote a sustainable future on the Oregon Coast that contributes to ecological health, thriving communities, and economic growth in the state's developing maritime sector. To launch the objectives of this important grant Hatfield hired a manager for their Innovation Lab (iLab) in Newport and RAIN hired their first industry-specific catalyst.


Drummond Biles is Hatfield's first iLab Manager. He attended the University of New Hampshire for a BS in mechanical engineering and continued on at the University to pursue a PhD. During his graduate career, in a year-long program, Drummond introduced Innovation Scholars to research through the lens of Ocean Instrumentation. He also worked with K-12 and undergraduate students on STEM education using hands-on learning. Drummond is excited to continue this outreach in his new position. After completing his PhD in mechanical engineering, Drummond went on to become a Post-Doctoral researcher at Sandia National Labs where he aided in the development of an advanced combustion strategy called Ducted Fuel Injection which shows extreme promise to cut harmful diesel emissions.


Laura Furgurson joined RAIN in January 2021 as Oregon's first and only Blue Economy Innovation Catalyst. In this role, she is helping innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs bring their maritime-related products to market. So far, she is coaching 10 Blue Economy clients on developing, distributing, marketing, and selling their concepts. Over the next few months, at least 5 of the innovators Laura is coaching will begin receiving prototype support from Hatfield's iLab. With Laura's guidance, those in aquaculture and seafood markets are pursuing development services via OSU's 3 food science and innovation departments.


Contact Drummond: drummond.biles@oregonstate.edu

Contact Laura: laura@oregonrain.org

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