Vancouver pursues innovation zone plan

first_imgThe city of Vancouver signaled to the state Department of Commerce on Monday it wants to take the lead in establishing an Innovation Partnership Zone for applied digital technology in an effort to bring jobs to the area.The IPZ program was created by the state in 2007 to stimulate industry growth in specific geographic areas and spur cooperation among local government, private business and higher education. Out of 15 zones statewide, none in Western Washington are south of Tacoma. In southern Washington, none are east of Tri-Cities.Chad Eiken, the city’s director of community and economic development, told the Vancouver City Council on Monday the city’s key partners in the effort are the city of Camas, Sharp Laboratories of America, Wacom, Woobox, Washington State University Vancouver, Clark College, the Columbia River Economic Development Council, Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association and the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council.The designation lasts four years and can be extended.Walla Walla, for example, has an IPZ for wine and hospitality. Spokane has an IPZ for health care and energy research, and the Tri-Cities have one for clean energy and energy storage. Tacoma received an IPZ for urban clean water.‘Discovery’ expiredA previous IPZ in Clark County for the “Discovery Corridor” expired and was not renewed, Eiken said. The Columbia River Economic Development Council took the lead on that IPZ, which was geared to bringing tech businesses to Salmon Creek and other unincorporated areas along Interstate 5. But those areas lacked sufficient infrastructure, Eiken said, and the idea never took off the way backers hoped.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*