As the U.S. embraces the "Maker Movement" today to honor its tinkerers, inventors and entrepreneurs in a "Day of Making" — led by the first White House Maker Faire — the UO is noting its "unique combination of culture, infrastructure and tools that enable making across the state of Oregon."
That is the message delivered last week in a letter to President Obama from UO President Michael R. Gottfredson and Frances Bronet, dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. The UO also is among 153 colleges and universities that signed a letter of support for today's Maker Faire, which was officially proclaimed by Obama on June 17.
During a day when the social media hashtag #NationOfMakers will appear frequently, Gottfredson and Bronet are giving a shout out, in terms of academic efforts, for the existing "maker spaces" of the UO's Product Design Program in Portland and Eugene and the coming Allan Price Science Commons and Research Library, a $16.75 million, two-story building that will replace the current underground science library by spring 2016.
They also noted in their letter to Obama how the UO provides technical and developmental support to companies, researchers and innovators, including to students, through access to state-of-the-art equipment through the Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon inside Lokey Laboratories. CAMCOR is known as Oregon's high-tech extension service.
"We also collaborated with Oregon State University and the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Albany, and Corvallis to establish the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (Oregon RAIN) that helps connect innovators with expertise," they wrote. "Collectively, these tools enable a collaborative innovation culture that is contributing to Oregon's economy and our nation's prosperity."
- by Jim Barlow, Public Affairs Communications