Commerce awards second round of economic development grants to encourage four high-growth industry clusters

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march 7, 2022

Commerce awards second round of economic development grants to encourage four high-growth industry clusters

Innovation Cluster Accelerator supports public-private collaboration and investment to speed research and development, support startups, and expand access to capital and international markets.

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OLYMPIA, WA – Four additional industry-led consortia were awarded Innovation Cluster Accelerator grants from the Washington State Department of Commerce. These public-private organizations join five others selected earlier this year to grow key industry sectors in Washington state. Each will receive $500,000, along with strategic guidance and support to build and run an innovation cluster in a target industry.

  • Evergreen Bioscience, led by Greater Spokane, Inc.working to make the Intermountain Northwest and Washington State a magnet for companies providing and consuming expert life and health science contract research, development, and manufacturing services of medicines and medical devices by enhancing workforce development and services to pharmaceutical and medical devices companies.
  • Pacific Northwest Aerospace Cluster, led by Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance - advancing Pacific Northwest aerospace manufacturing competitiveness through technology innovation, sustainable manufacturing, supply chain mapping, workforce development and marketing.
  • Sustainable Aerospace Technologies and Energies (SATE) Cluster, led by Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA) - advancing aviation’s global fight against climate change by leading the research, development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels, electrified aircraft and hydrogen-powered aviation.
  • Washington Autonomous Vehicle Cluster (WAV-C), led by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance - accelerating the advancement of unpiloted and autonomous vehicles, with an initial focus on the growing need for waterborne craft.

“Strategic investment to support innovation in key legacy and nascent industries is a pillar of our economic development strategy to strengthen Washington communities for the future,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “We see in these public-private partnerships the potential to launch new clusters with dramatic impact on lives, jobs and business opportunities.”

Innovation clusters accelerate high-growth industries, bringing together industry leaders with academic and government government partners, entrepreneurs, and investors to spur innovation, develop new products and expand global markets. Successful innovation clusters include Canada’s Digital Supercluster, the Queensland Robotics Cluster in Australia and Washington Maritime Blue.

Washington’s Innovation Cluster Accelerator is one portion of work supported by a $15 million CARES Act investment by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA). Innovation cluster programs worldwide served as a blueprint for Washington’s accelerator strategy, including Canada’s Superclusters Initiative and the Norwegian Innovation Clusters.

For more information on the Innovation Cluster Accelerator, visit

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Commerce Communications, (206) 256-6106 | Mobile/text: (360) 704-9489