Washington state Dept. of Commerce commits $3M for ‘Innovation Cluster Accelerator’

Washington state’s Department of Commerce today announced an “Innovation Cluster Accelerator” that gives five organizations $550,000 to build an “innovation cluster” in a given industry. The state is using the existing Washington Maritime Blue accelerator, Canada’s Superclusters Initiative, and the Norwegian Innovation Clusters as models for the new program. Here are the five organizations getting funding, with descriptions from the Dept. of Commerce (four more clusters will be added later this year):

  • Enterprise Digital Growth Ecosystem (EDGE) Cluster, led by the 5G Open Innovation Lab — using edge computing and 5G to digitally transform agriculture, energy and utilities, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation and logistics.
  • Advanced Technology Cluster, led by the Washington Technology Innovation Association — using quantum computing and distributed ledger technologies (blockchain) to grow advanced technologies and maintain Washington’s technology leadership.
  • Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewable Generated E-Fuels (CHARGE), led by WSU’s Joint Center for Deployment and Research in Earth and Abundant Materials (JCDREAM) — exploring the use of hydrogen to decarbonize heavy-duty transport, aviation and shipping and reduce reliance on non-renewable fuel sources.
  • Decarbonizing the Built Environment Cluster, led by The Clean Tech Alliance — advancing the development and adoption of clean technologies to decarbonize elements of the built environment including human-made structures, features such as energy and transportation, and facilities where people live and work.
  • Washington VERTical, led by the Port of Benton — accelerating the transition to clean, renewable and non-emitting energy production sources by 2025 through advanced nuclear power technologies.

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