December 06, 2006

U.S. Senate passes Defense spending bill with millionsfor Oregon nanotech, other defense projects

Legislation also includes significant funding for developing new medical,energy technologies and other Oregon projects

Washington, D.C. - The full U.S. Senate last night approved its Defense appropriations bill, which includes millions of dollars in funding for Oregon projects advocated by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith. In addition to more than $11 million for Oregon nanotechnology projects through the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), the legislation includes significant funding for research and development of new medical, energy and other technologies with the potential for both defense and commercial applications.

"The funding for a new Oregon nanotechnology research center and other nano-related projects is proof-positive that our state is a recognized leader in this important and growing field. Oregon's economy will demonstrate the benefits of these early, targeted investments for years to come," Wyden said. "Whether it's furthering life-saving medical techniques or developing state-of-the art energy systems, Oregonians continue to lead the way in developing innovative technologies for military and civilian uses."

"We must always be vigilant when protecting America," Smith said. "Oregon firms are developing technology that will help make our nation safer and protect troops abroad. Many of the projects have applications beyond the battlefield. The investments we are making today will have lasting benefits into the future. This investment also sustains jobs ensuring Oregon's economy continues to grow."

The U.S. Senate included funding for the following Oregon projects:

· ONAMI would receive $2.076 million for the Center for Nanotechnology for Thermal Management and Portable Power Generation, the new Oregon nanotechnology center Senators Wyden and Smith announced in February. The center will develop nanotechnologies which significantly enhance the performance of microelectronics for military applications.

· ONAMI would also receive $5 million for the safer nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing program.

· ONAMI would also receive $2.5 million for the Nanoelectronics and Nanometrology Initiative.

· ONAMI would also receive $1.7 million for the miniature tactical energy systems development program.

· Freightliner, based in Portland, would receive over $35 million to continue its program of replacing linehaul trucks with armored versions.

· Northwest Marine, LLC of Portland would receive $5 million to procure watercraft to be used as barrier tenders to move and service floating barrier equipment.

· Silver Eagle Manufacturing of Portland would receive $5 million to produce a limited number of mobile field hospitals and shelters for evaluation under field conditions.

· HemCon of Tigard would receive $4.8 million to study the effectiveness of chitosan dressings in treating burns.

· Microsemi's Power Products Group (formerly Advanced Power Technology) of Bend would receive $4 million to develop technology related to the use of silicon carbide semiconductor components for use in military avionics applications.

· Digimarc of Beaverton would receive $4 million for the research and development of a real-time geospatial video sensor, allowing the information collected to be directly available for instant retrieval on the battlefield.

· The U.S. Air Force is authorized to use up to $4 million for evaluation and deployment of the Transportation Transponder Landing System (TTLS) to enable aircraft of all types to land efficiently and safely in any terrain and in severe weather conditions. TTLS is being developed by the Advanced Navigation and Positioning Corporation of Hood River.

· IdaTech of Bend would receive $3 million to develop fuel cell technology suitable for battlefield military applications.

· The Northwest Manufacturing Initiative would receive $2.6 million to assist the region's manufacturing industry cluster; one focus of this project is to assist small to medium sized manufacturers in the region be more competitive in defense-related contracting.

· The University of Oregon's Brain, Biology and Machine Science Initiative would receive $2.5 million for interdisciplinary research related to cognitive neuroscience, genetics research, and informatics.

· Columbia Power Technologies of Wilsonville would receive $2 million to research, develop and construct a direct drive power buoy system, in cooperation with Oregon State University, to demonstrate the viability of wave energy as a source of electric power.

· Mountain High Equipment & Supply Company of Redmond would receive $2 million for the procurement of a more effective and efficient oxygen supply system for high altitude rotary wing pilots.

· InSport would receive $2 million for the procurement of a base layer garment for Marine Corps expeditionary forces personnel.

· The U.S. Navy is authorized to use up to $2 million for research, development and testing of the Advanced Airship Flying Laboratory project through the American Blimp Corporation of Hillsboro.

In addition, Oregon will share in the following funding:

· Almost $1.3 billion would go to the Army for Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction, including funding for operations at the Umatilla Chemical Depot.

· The National Guard Youth Challenge Program would receive $15 million.

· Oregon State University would share in $1 million for the development of nanoscale ultra-low power electronics.

The U.S. Senate-approved FY2007 Defense spending bill must now be reconciled with the version passed by the U.S. House of Representatives before going to the President for his signature.