Pushing Science Into the Real World

  • Prosperity
  • 2016

Phil Knight has made some of the largest university donations in history. In 2016 he landed a whopping $500 million on his alma mater—the University of Oregon (which gave him a degree in business, and whose track coach he co-founded the Nike sportswear company with). The university plans to raise an equivalent amount from other philanthropists and use the sum to create a new center aimed at speeding translation of science discoveries into useable products. At the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, 30 new researchers will be hired to lead investigations, and 550 students will work and experiment in three new buildings, with an initial emphasis on biomedical subjects. Businesses sparked by the center are expected to eventually employ 750 entrepreneurs and staff in a cluster around the incubator.