Issaquah Sports Medicine, Thurston Craft Brewing and Distilling are state’s newest Innovation Partnership Zones

IPZs connect research, private sector and workforce partners to spur economic development in target growth sectors.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today designated two new Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZs) and reauthorized nine others to help spur regional economic growth in key industry sectors. The City of Issaquah Sports Medicine IPZ and Thurston County Craft Brewing and Distilling IPZ join the list of 14 zones active throughout the state.

“Washington State’s vibrant innovation ecosystem is one of our strongest competitive advantages,” said Brian Bonlender, state Commerce Director. “Creating supportive environments where clusters of dynamic ideas and resources can flourish helps grow economies and jobs in communities all across the state. I congratulate our two newest Innovation Partnership Zones!”

Issaquah Sports Medicine Innovation Partnership Zone will promote and increase the synergy of sports medicine related businesses to create jobs and spur innovation in Issaquah resulting in a holistic system of high-quality care for patients of all ages and abilities. Jen Davis Hayes, Economic Development Manager for the City of Issaquah will serve as zone administrator.

Tumwater Craft Brewing and Distilling Center has the stated mission to “ensure a world-class source for craft brewed beers and ciders and craft distilled spirits which are made from locally grown ingredients by independent expert producers and distributed nationally and internationally to great acclaim.” Today there are 281 breweries and 87 craft distilleries licensed in Washington with more applications pending.

“The history of commercial brewing in Thurston County dates back to 1896 when Leopold Schmidt established the Tumwater Brewing Company on the shores of Tumwater Falls and the Deschutes River,” said Michael Cade, Thurston County Economic Development Director and administrator of the new IPZ. “We’re delighted to be moving forward with our community’s vision for a regional teaching, business support, research and industry cluster to provide workforce training and support for the expanding craft brewing and distilling field – it’s a perfect fit.”
IPZs are designated for four-year terms. The following IPZs designated in 2007 and 2011 retained their status:

  • Aerospace Convergence Zone, Snohomish County. Administrator: Workforce Development Council Snohomish County
  • Bothell Biomedical Device Innovation Partnership Zone, Bothell. Administrator: City of Bothell
  • Grays Harbor Innovation Partnership Zone, Grays Harbor County. Administrator: Port of Grays Harbor
  • Interactive Media and Digital Arts Innovation Partnership Zone, Redmond. Administrators: City of Redmond and Economic Development Council Seattle-King County
  • Spokane University District Innovation Partnership Zone, Spokane. Administrator: Greater Spokane Incorporated
  • Tri-Cities Research District, Richland. Administrator: Port of Benton
  • Urban Business Center for Innovative Partnerships, Auburn. Administrator: City of Auburn
  • Urban Clean Water Technology Zone, Tacoma. Administrator: City of Tacoma
  • Walla Walla Valley Innovation Partnership Zone, Walla Walla. Administrator: City of Walla Walla

Three other IPZs were designated in 2013 and will be eligible for redesignation in 2017:

  • Resource Utilization and Renewal IPZ, Willapa Harbor. Administrator: Port of Willapa Harbor
  • Applied Digital Technology Accelerator, Vancouver-Camas. Administrator: City of Vancouver
  • Value-added Agriculture IPZ, Skagit Valley. Administrator: Economic Development Association of Skagit County.

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 provide regions a mechanism 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


Share this Post