Office of Governor Chris Gregoire
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 1, 2007
Contact: Governor's Office, 360-902-4111
Governor Gregoire Announces First Innovation Partnership Zones
Program seeds growth of state’s intellectual capital and promotes industry clusters
OLYMPIA –Governor Chris Gregoire today announced the designation of 11 Innovation Partnership Zones in Washington, geographic areas that will promote and develop the state’s regional economies. Innovation Partnership Zones build on the success around the world of “research parks,” such as the Research Triangle in North Carolina and Torrey Pines in California and bring together research and higher education opportunities, innovation and economic activity to be a strong engine for regional economies.
“Washington is home to some of the greatest innovations in the world and I am excited to support the continued success of our state’s world-class companies,” said Governor Gregoire. “We’ve seen what can happen when we bring together research, training and commerce, put them in a beaker and shake - Innovation Partnership Zones will be powerful economic engines to support our regional economies.”
Areas designated as Innovation Partnership Zones receive special access to state funding and resources that otherwise might not have been available.
The five designees were selected to receive grants totaling $4,275,000, allocated in the 2007-2009 capital budget, to jump-start development activities. They were notified today by Juli Wilkerson, director of the Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED).
“The quality and quantity of applicants demonstrates local communities are truly thinking about how to grow a knowledge economy and create family-wage jobs for the future,” said Wilkerson. “There was genuine diversity in geography and industries, which bodes well for long-term economic strength for the state.”
2007 Innovation Partnership Zone Designations
Designations are listed by zone application name and zone administrator.
The Innovation Partnership Zones legislation calls for successful applicants to be awarded the designation of an Innovation Partnership Zone. Five of these applicants were also awarded grants, which may be used for such expenses as shared infrastructure, telecommunications, equipment or construction, and up to 10 percent for administration.
The five applicants designated Innovation Partnership Zones and awarded grants are:
Applicants receiving the Innovation Partnership Zone designation are:
The Innovation Partnership Zones legislation requires the director of CTED to make annual designations by October 1. To qualify for designation, applicants must partner research, workforce training and a globally competitive company in close geographic proximity for a cooperative, research-based effort that will lead to new commercially viable products and jobs. The Zone Administrator must be an economic development council, port, workforce development council, city or county. Designations last for four years and then a designee must reapply.