New Position at OSU Focuses on Industry and Innovation
Rebecca Robinson has been appointed associate vice president for the newly formed economic development and industry relations office at Oregon State University and also will serve as senior advisor for strategic initiatives at OSU-Cascades. She will start on April 15.
Robinson comes to OSU from Kansas State University where she most recently served as president and CEO of K-State Innovation Partners, overseeing Kansas State’s innovation ecosystem, including economic development, corporate engagement, technology commercialization and strategic initiatives.
“I am very excited to join Oregon State University and to partner with faculty, university leadership and the business community,” said Robinson. “OSU has an exciting vision for the economic development and industry relations office, including the innovation district at OSU-Cascades. I am delighted to be part of realizing that vision.”
Robinson will join OSU’s Division of Research and Innovation, which was created to support the implementation of OSU’s new strategic plan. The office will foster and advance industry-university partnerships and agency relationships that contribute to economic growth in the state, including workforce development.
The future innovation district at OSU-Cascades is a signature feature of the Bend campus’s long-range development plan and a priority for the economic development and industry relations office. The 24-acre district will connect companies to OSU-Cascades’ researchers and faculty, student interns and graduates. Land remediation is now underway for the first eight-acre phase of the district, which is expected to be built out over the next decade.
“I am delighted to welcome Rebecca to OSU, where she joins a talented team of researchers, industry leaders and community advocates who are translating research breakthroughs in fields such as semiconductors, food and beverage and mass timber into sustainable solutions for Oregon and the world,” said OSU President Jayathi Murthy. “Fueling economic progress and developing the workforce of the future are core to our mission as Oregon’s statewide university.”
During her 15-year tenure at Kansas State, Robinson also served as director of economic development and chief corporate engagement and economic development officer. She oversaw the creation and launch of K-State 105, a statewide initiative that leveraged university and partner resources to support community development, entrepreneurship and workforce development. Her efforts, in partnership with the university and surrounding community, resulted in the recruitment of 27 technology-based companies to the Manhattan, Kansas region, creating over 1,100 new high-wage jobs.
Robinson earned an MBA from Kansas State and is a doctorate candidate in leadership communication, also at Kansas State.
She will be based in Bend and will spend time in Corvallis, Portland and Salem as her role evolves.