OCAST Promises Big Investment Return in Funding Bid in Okla

By Francis-Smith, Janice | THE JOURNAL RECORD, January 21, 2009 | Go to article overview

OCAST Promises Big Investment Return in Funding Bid in Okla


Francis-Smith, Janice, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Yes, Michael Carolina has heard about the budget shortfall this year. But he's still asking the state Legislature to nearly double the funding for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.

Carolina, OCAST executive director, presented his budget request to a legislative committee on Tuesday, confident that the numbers add up in his agency's favor. For every $1 the Legislature has invested in OCAST, the agency has been able to generate an $18 return.

"You can see the value in our current plans to move technology forward," said Carolina after presenting the agency's budget request to members of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education. "This science can attract federal dollars and dollars from the private sector. Our advisory committee members tell us we need to invest more, which means more returns to the state."

OCAST is a state agency that invests in the development and commercialization of technology. The agency is governed by a board of directors representing both the public and private sector. Working in partnership with the private sector, higher education, CareerTech and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, OCAST chooses 30 to 40 research projects to fund each year, selecting from among projects that have first been reviewed by out-of-state science and business experts.

OCAST also works hand in hand with i2E, a private, not-for- profit organization focused on commercialization of technology in Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance. Successful clients span a wide variety of technology sectors, from a nanotechnology research project to create lightweight bulletproof clothing to a project using sensors to analyze a person's golf swing technique. …

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