About OWIC

Connecting people, ideas, resources

Oregon State University’s College of Forestry and Extension Service teamed up to create the Oregon Wood Innovation Center (OWIC). OWIC’s mission is to improve the competitiveness of Oregon’s wood products industry by fostering innovation in products, processes, and business systems. A key function of the Center is to serve as the primary link between university research and needs and opportunities in the forest industry.

Why an Innovation Center?

The forest products industry has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. The industry has responded to reductions in raw material supply and the forces of globalization by consolidating, retooling production systems, and by focusing on improving efficiencies in manufacturing processes. However, it is clear that focusing solely on process innovation will be insufficient to maintain future competitive advantage. Firms must also focus on product and business systems innovation. OWIC was developed to help foster such innovation by serving as a ‘clearinghouse’ to connect manufacturers to the research community, to other organizations that provide assistance to businesses, and to facilitate networking within the industry.

Facilities & Services

OWIC is housed within OSU’s Department of Wood Science & Engineering, a department with established capabilities in research, outreach, and technology transfer in a broad array of disciplines. Disciplines and accompanying laboratories and services include:

  • Anatomy and Wood Quality – laboratories for wood fiber characterization and wood identification; equipment including microscopes and an X-ray densitometer
  • Biodeterioration, Wood Protection and Product Durability – pressure cylinder for wood preservation; equipment for assessing insect and decay resistance
  • Chemistry – adhesives development, testing, and troubleshooting; research and testing of plant materials for value-added chemical products
  • Nanotechnology – research in nanocomposites for advanced textiles, barrier films, membranes, coatings and sensors
  • Composite Materials – development and testing of wood and wood/non-wood composites; equipment including presses (hot and cold), glue spreader, refiner, digester, blender, and former
  • Computer-Aided Manufacturing – facilities for optical scanning, process modeling, simulation and optimization of wood processing enterprises
  • Wood Drying – a 100 BF kiln for measuring volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and 2000 BF dry kiln for research in lumber drying
  • Timber Engineering & Structural Design – equipment for assessing strength properties of wood-based materials; scale varies from small specimens up to large members such as beams and full-scale wall systems
  • Forest Products Business & Marketing – research and outreach on innovation in the forest industry and assessment of market potential for new products
  • Environmental Impacts of Wood Products – research on the environmental impacts of wood-based materials from ‘cradle to grave’ (life cycle inventory and analysis)
  • Other facilities include environmental conditioning chambers (hot-dry, hot-wet, cold room, standards room) and state-of-the-art classrooms for on-site or distance education programs

Fees

Fees for our services are published in the university's 'fee book'  [select unit = College of Forestry and department = Wood Sci/Engr]

 

Oregon Wood Innovation Center
119 Richardson Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-5751
Fax: (541) 737-3385
owic@oregonstate.edu