SEATTLE, January 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a strong, equity-focused technology sector that empowers thriving communities, announced today that it is the recipient of a $550,000 grant from the washington state Department of Commerce to begin development of an advanced technology cluster and drive private investment, job creation, and cutting-edge innovation across the state.
washington state has been a driver of technological innovation for decades, with many transformative technologies being built in the state, driving significant economic growth regionally and internationally. Several advanced technologies will soon be the catalyst for similar economic growth and global competitiveness, making this a critical time to focus on these specific sectors. WTIA will invite its more than 1,200 member organizations to help create an advanced technology cluster that will strengthen connectivity and collaboration between blockchain technologies and quantum computing.
“Today is a proud day for the whole WTIA team,” said Michael Schutzler, CEO, WTIA. “The State Department of Commerce has chosen us as their main partner to develop from washington position as a global innovation hub. Our state has the opportunity to lead the country in blockchain and quantum computing, which will drive economic growth, generate new jobs, and help ensure the state’s long-term competitiveness. »
Harnessing the power of an economic growth “cluster” – which brings together companies, universities, startups, governments and investors – WTIA will bring together diverse sets of stakeholder groups to fuel the growth of the technology sector. Grant funding combined with existing WTIA programs will allow the cluster to focus on five key areas: (1) mapping the advanced technology ecosystem; (2) attract and accelerate startups; (3) build a diverse workforce that includes women, BIPOC and other underrepresented groups; (4) promote an enabling policy environment; and (5) create strong partnerships.
To achieve these goals, the cluster will also invite academia to collaborate on workforce development, build relationships with and train decision makers to create an enabling regulatory environment, develop startup accelerators to support advanced technology startups, to produce landscape reports to inform the long-term cluster. strategy, and provide forums to bring together and connect relevant stakeholders.
“As WTIA builds a global hub for these new technologies, it will be especially important for us to be intentional about how the cluster includes people from underrepresented groups,” Schutzler continued. “Building more equitable access to these opportunities is a key part of our DNA at WTIA and something that will be reflected and prioritized across the cluster.”
Today’s news follows an impressive year of grants for WTIA, including WA State Equitable Commerce Innovation Accelerator in partnership with Find Ventures, EDA Sprint Challenge Congregate Accelerator with PNWER, and the EDA Build to Scale grant to scale programs in startup across the state. The organization also recently released a new reportwhich explores the broad and deep contributions of the technology sector to washington state and held its first DEI Summit.
This project was supported by grant number 07 79 07630 awarded by the Economic Development Administration. The views expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Economic Development Administration. Grant funds are administered by the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness, washington state Commerce Department.
the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) is a consortium that includes a non-profit member trade association, a non-profit technology learning intermediary (Apprentice) and a for-profit business services company (HRBI). The organization’s mission is to foster a strong, equity-focused technology sector that empowers thriving communities. We recruit technology companies and allies who value diversity as a competitive advantage, value collaboration as essential to sustainable growth, and fully embrace the opportunity to partner with and empower the communities in which we operate.
SOURCE Technology Industry Association of Washington