Commerce designates new North Central Washington Technology Zone, renews Innovation Partnership Zone status for Vancouver and Skagit Valley

Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZs) connect research, private sector, workforce partners to spur development in target clusters

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

“Innovation Partnership Zones is an important tool that helps communities determine for themselves their economic future. It strengthens communities by facilitating a thoughtful and strategic planning process that ultimately converts into opportunities for new and targeted job growth.  I congratulate the newest member of our vibrant IPZ community, the North Central Washington Technology Zone, and the ongoing successes of those in Vancouver and Skagit Valley,” said Brian Bonlender, state Commerce director.

New IPZ Designation:

  • North Central Washington Technology Zone, North Central Workforce Development Council
  • Re-Designations:

    IPZs are designated for four-year terms. The following IPZs were designated in 2013 and retained their status:

  • Applied Digital Technology IPZ, Vancouver/Camas, City of Vancouver
  • Skagit Valley Value Added Agriculture IPZ, Skagit, Economic Development Association Skagit County
  • “The IPZ designation for the North Central Washington Technology Zone is great news! The collaborative effort of this partnership is building a strong platform that connects local business and industry, expands cutting-edge research and propels technology and innovation to new heights. This confluence is timely and will only continue to strengthen our local economy, grow jobs and create new opportunities for North Central businesses and our citizens,” said Dave Petersen, executive director, North Central Workforce Development Council.

    “On behalf of all our IPZ partners including the Port of Skagit, WSU Research and the Bread Lab, Skagit Valley College, Skagit County, the city of Mount Vernon, the farmers of Skagit, Skagit Valley Malting, Northwest Agriculture Business Center, Nothwest Innovation Resource Center, and others, we are delighted that the Skagit Value-Added Agriculture IPZ has been re-designated by the Department of Commerce,” said John Sternlicht, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, the IPZ’s administrator. “Our primary goals are to promote innovation in agriculture and find new and sustainable sources of revenue from agriculture here, including new products and markets, new venues, new activities and new technologies.”

    Teresa Brum, City of Vancouver, Economic Development Division manager, said, “We are very pleased with the renewal of the Innovation Partnership Zone designation. The City of Vancouver looks forward to working with our partners to implement the next phase of the IPZ!”

    Created 10 years ago, the goal of Innovation Partnership Zones is to stimulate growth of industry clusters and build strong regional economies. IPZs empower regions to form partnerships among research entities, private-sector partners, and workforce training to collaborate and develop commercially viable technologies. To learn more about Innovation Partnership Zones and choosing Washington state as your place to do business, visit


  • AuburnUrban Center for Innovative Partnerships, (2011~City of Auburn). More information: Doug Lein (253) 804-3101
  • BothellBothell Biomedical Device IPZ, (2007~City of Bothell). More information: Bob Stowe (425) 486-3256
  • Grays HarborGrays Harbor IPZ, (2007~Port of Grays Harbor). More information: Alissa Shay (360) 482-1651
  • Issaquah – Sports Medicine Innovation Partnership Zone, (2015~City of Issaquah). More information: Jen Davis-Hayes (425) 837-3414
  • RedmondInteractive Media and Digital Arts IPZ, (2011~City of Redmond and Economic Development Council of Seattle-King County). More information: John Marchione (425) 556-2101
  • Snohomish – Aerospace Convergence Zone, (2007~Economic Development Council of Snohomish County). More information: Matt Smith (425) 248-4219
  • SpokaneSpokane University District IPZ, (2007~Greater Spokane Incorporated). More information: Robin Toth (509) 321-3636
  • Tri Cities Tri Cities Research District, (2007~Port of Benton). More information: Diahann Howard (509) 375-3060
  • Thurston – Thurston Craft Brewing and Distilling Innovation Partnership Zone, (2015~Thurston County). More information: Michael Cade (360) 754-6320
  • Walla WallaWalla Walla Valley IPZ, (2007~City of Walla Walla). More information: Tim McCarty (509) 527-4540
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