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OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today designated three new Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZs) and reauthorized nine others to help spur regional economic growth through key sectors such as manufacturing, global health and technology.
“I congratulate our newest Innovation Partnership Zones and the ongoing successes of the others in our vibrant IPZ community,” said Rogers Weed, state Commerce Director. “Washington has a history of innovation. Our research institutions are among the most highly regarded and productive in the world, but we must continue to drive discoveries and new technologies into commercialization effectively if we’re going to compete and prosper in the global economy.”
New IPZ Designations:• Interactive Media and Digital Arts IPZ (King County)• King County Financial Services Collaborative (King County)• Urban Clean Water Technology Zone (Pierce County)
Re-Designations:IPZs are designated for four-year terms. The following IPZs designated in 2007 retained their status:• Aerospace Convergence Zone (Snohomish County)• Port of Bellingham Waterfront Innovation Zone (Whatcom County)• Bothell Biomedical Manufacturing IPZ (King County)• Grays Harbor IPZ (Grays Harbor County)• North Olympic Peninsula IPZ (Clallam County)• South Lake Union Global Health IPZ (King County)• Spokane University District IPZ (Spokane County)• Tri-Cities Research District (Benton County)• Walla Walla Valley IPZ (Walla Walla County)
The Innovation Partnership Zones program was created in 2007 by Governor Gregoire and the Washington State Legislature. Its goal is to stimulate the growth of industry clusters and build regional economies. IPZs empower regions to form partnerships between research entities, private sector partners, and workforce training to collaborate and develop commercially viable technologies. To learn more about Innovation Partnership Zones, visit www.choosewashington.com.
“The re-designation enables Western Washington University and Bellingham Technical College to continue working within our IPZ to develop some early opportunities,” said Port of Bellingham Commission President Michael McAuley. “Our focus will now reach far afield to attract other innovators and businesses that can utilize our IPZ helping to further diversify and strengthen our local economy." McCauley noted a $730,000 grant Western earned in 2010 to move forward with private partners on a prototype para-transit bus and the work that is underway by WWU.
Local Contacts:Port of Bellingham Waterfront Innovation Zone Dodd Snodgrass, Port of Bellingham, 360.676.2500
About CommerceCommerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit www.commerce.wa.gov.