Washington Technology Industry Association Awarded $550,000 from the State of Washington's Innovation Cluster Accelerator

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Two-year Grant to Enable the Development of an Advanced Technology Cluster to Power Blockchain and Quantum Computing Development

SEATTLE, Jan. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a robust, equity-centered technology sector that empowers thriving communities, today announced it is the recipient of a $550,000 grant from the State of Washington's Department of Commerce to begin development of an Advanced Technology Cluster and drive private investment, job creation, and world-leading innovation throughout the state.

WTIA (PRNewsFoto/Washington Technology Industry..)
WTIA (PRNewsFoto/Washington Technology Industry..)

Washington state has been a driver of technology innovation for decades, with many transformative technologies built within the state leading to significant economic growth regionally and internationally. Several Advanced Technologies will soon be the catalyst for similar economic growth and global competitiveness, making now a critical time for focus on these specific sectors. WTIA will invite its more than 1,200 member organizations to help create an Advanced Technology Cluster that will build connectivity and collaboration across blockchain technologies and quantum computing.

"Today is a proud day for the entire WTIA team," said Michael Schutzler, CEO, WTIA. "The state Department of Commerce has selected us as their lead partner to expand Washington's position as a global innovation hub. Our state has an opportunity to lead the country in blockchain and quantum computing, which will spur economic growth, generate new jobs, and help secure the state's long-term competitiveness."

Leveraging the power of an economic growth "cluster" - which brings together corporations, academia, startups, government, and investors - WTIA will convene diverse sets of stakeholder groups to power growth of the technology sector. Grant funding combined with existing WTIA programs will enable the Cluster will focus on five key areas: (1) mapping the Advanced Technology ecosystem; (2) attracting and accelerating startups; (3) building a diverse workforce including women, BIPOC, and other underrepresented groups; (4) advancing a supportive policy environment; and (5) creating strong partnerships.

To achieve these goals, the Cluster will also invite academia to collaborate on workforce development, build relationships with and provide education to policymakers to create a supportive regulatory environment, grow startup accelerators to support Advanced Technology startups, produce landscape reports to inform long-term Cluster strategy, and provide forums to convene and connect relevant stakeholders.

"As WTIA builds a global center for these new technologies, it will be especially important for us to be intentional about the way the Cluster includes people from underrepresented groups," continued Schutzler. "Building more equitable access to these opportunities is a key part of our DNA at WTIA and something that will be reflected and prioritized in the Cluster."

Today's news comes on the heels of an impressive year of grant awards for WTIA including WA State Commerce Equitable Innovation Accelerator in partnership with Find Ventures, EDA Sprint Challenge Congregate Accelerator with PNWER, and the EDA Build to Scale grant expanding startup programs across the state. The organization also recently published a new report, which explores the tech sector's extensive and far-reaching contributions to Washington state and hosted its first annual DEI Summit.

This project was supported by Grant No. 07 79 07630 awarded by the Economic Development Administration. Points of view 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 & Competitiveness, Washington State Department of Commerce.

About WTIA
The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) is a consortium that includes a not-for-profit member trade association, a not-for-profit tech apprenticeship intermediary (Apprenti), and a for profit corporation providing business services (HRBI). The organization's mission is to foster a robust, equity-centered technology sector that empowers thriving communities. We recruit technology companies and allies that view 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.

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SOURCE Washington Technology Industry Association