Innovate Dayton

How did Innovate Dayton start?

Innovate Oregon is a strategic initiative launched by the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) focused on re-imagining how we can develop the talent needed to build an inclusive, innovation-based economy. This initiative recognizes that every aspect of our economy is being rapidly transformed by new digital technologies and that it is essential that we develop a workforce that has the skills and mindsets of innovation.

In the summer of 2014, a team from Innovate Oregon was invited to Dayton to launch an Innovation Academy.

Since that initial engagement, the impact of this partnership has been transformative for the school and the community. Not only has Dayton established its own Innovate initiative, the school has become a pioneer in develop new teaching methodologies utilizing an agile learning approach, modeled after leading industry practices. It has developed a set of classes on innovation and is in the process of building a new i3 Center where students will have the opportunity to be inspired, innovate and invent.

We are building this Center in partnership with local businesses, notably OnlineNW, a local Internet service provider. As part of this partnership, OnlineNW is constructing in Dayton a gigabit fiber-optic network that includes a revenue sharing agreement with the school district that will provide ongoing financial support for Dayton’s i3 Center.

What is happening currently?

Dayton is currently embarking and several strategic agreement with companies to develop new innovation initiatives, with a particular focus on issues related to agriculture, the mainstay of our local economy. These partnerships include those with IBM, SparkFun and Stoller Family Estate. For instance, on the Stoller property, a community garden is being created as part of a Farm to School initiative that will be a test-bed for developing new agriculture technology (AgTech) solutions that will seek to improve yield and distribution efficiencies to address challenges facing our current food system.