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Commerce names three new Innovation Partnership Zones to foster economic growth

IPZs connect research, private sector, workforce partners to spur development in target clusters

​OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today designated three new Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZs) and reauthorized one other to help spur regional economic growth through key sectors such as manufacturing, global health and technology.


“Washington is known worldwide for its innovation, research and development, and bold new ideas,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “The 18 IPZs located throughout the state create a collaborative, results-oriented environment for incubating start-ups, developing critical training programs and leveraging best practices to spur innovation and economic growth through new discoveries, technologies, products and services.”


“The diversity of our regions is an important competitive advantage for Washington State,” said Jay Inslee, Governor. “Our Innovation Partnership Zones are a shining example of innovation in action statewide; creating unique partnerships between the public and private sectors to build a Working Washington that leverages our regional expertise and drives economic growth and vitality at the local level.”


New IPZ Designations:


• Skagit Valley Value-Added Agriculture IPZ

• Applied Digital Technology Accelerator (Vancouver-Camas)

• Willapa Resource Utilization and Renewal (Port of Willapa Harbor)




IPZs are designated for four-year terms.  The following IPZ designated in 2009 retained its status:


• Central Washington Resource Energy Collaborative (Kittitas)


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

Local Contacts:
Central Washington Resource Energy Collaborative (Kittitas):  Jim Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer, Kittitas County Chamber, 509.925.2002
Skagit Valley Value-Added Agriculture IPZ: Don Wick, Executive Director, Economic Development Association of Skagit County (EDASC), 360.336.6114


Applied Digital Technology Accelerator (Vancouver-Camas): Sandra Towne, Manager Planning & Policy, City of Vancouver,360.487.7947
Chad Eiken, Director Community and Economic Development


Willapa Resource Utilization and Renewal (Port of Willapa Harbor): Rebecca Chaffee, Manager, Port of Willapa Harbor, 360.942.3422


About Commerce

Commerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit For information on locating or expanding a business in Washington, visit


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