Commerce awards first round of economic development grants to five high-growth industries

Innovation Cluster Accelerator commits $ 3 million to launch first cohort

OLYMPIA, WA – Recognizing that supporting innovation is critical to driving the transformation of existing industries and the rise of new clusters that will fuel economic growth throughout the state, the State Department in Washington of Commerce recently launched the first cohort of a Cluster Accelerator innovation. Five organizations will each receive up to $ 550,000 plus strategic advice and support to build and manage an innovation cluster in a target industry.

“From information technology to aerospace, from agriculture to clean energy, Washington State’s innovations have a history of global impact,” said Lisa Brown, director of commerce. “Identifying and supporting innovation clusters is a long-term strategy to accelerate growth in key industries with the potential to change lives and become economic engines that strengthen communities and create jobs for the future. “

Organizations selected for the first round of Accelerator Support will bring together industry leaders with academic and government partners, entrepreneurs and investors to accelerate research and development, support start-ups and increase access to global capital and markets.

The first clusters and their target industries are:

  • Cluster EDGE (Enterprise Digital Ecosystem Growth) led by the 5G open innovation lab – use advanced computing and 5G to digitally transform agriculture, energy and utilities, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and logistics.
  • Pole of advanced technologies, led by the Washington Technology Innovation Association – use quantum computing and distributed ledger technologies (blockchain) to develop cutting-edge technologies and maintain Washington’s technological leadership.
  • Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewable Electric Fuels (CHARGE), directed by WSU Joint Center for Deployment and Research on Earth and Abundant Materials (JCDREAM) – explore the use of hydrogen to decarbonize heavy transport, aviation and maritime transport and reduce dependence on non-renewable fuel sources.
  • Decarbonising Pole Built Environment, directed by The Clean Technology AllianceAdvance the development and adoption of clean technologies to decarbonize elements of the built environment, including man-made structures, features such as energy and transportation, and the facilities where people live and work.
  • Washington VERTical, led by the Port of Benton – accelerate the transition to clean, renewable and non-emitting energy production sources by 2025 thanks to advanced nuclear technologies.

Successful innovation cluster programs around the world have served as a model for Washington’s Accelerator Strategy, including Canada’s Super Clusters Initiative, Norwegian Innovation Clusters, and Maritime Blue WashingtonWho will participate in the cohort activities.

“This support will accelerate Central Washington’s growth into a global clean energy hub to support decarbonization and develop new sources of clean energy,” said Diahann Howard, executive director of the Port of Benton. “Washington VERTical will create an industry-led supply chain alliance, and the cluster will support all levels of businesses, access our highly skilled workforce, and create advanced manufacturing opportunities for the state.” . The Port of Benton thanks local lawmakers, the community and industry partners for their support in securing this opportunity for the region.

“We are proud to have selected the Enterprise Digital Growth Ecosystem Cluster (EDGE) for the Innovation Cluster Accelerator,” said Jim Brisimitzis, Founder and Managing Partner / 5G Open Innovation Lab. “The first work that we carried out within the framework of the 5G Innovation Partner Zone (IPZ) laid the foundations for public / private partnerships on which the EDGE cluster will continue and build. The EDGE cluster is located at the intersection of technological activation, industrial transformation and ecosystem innovation. The future is bright. “

Four more clusters will be added early this year, expanding the geographic and industrial impact statewide. Receive updates and follow the Innovation Cluster Accelerator on


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