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Seattle/Puget Sound Wave and Tidal Energy Symposium

Some 90 participants spent a full day at Bell Harbor Conference Center on September 22, 2008 hearing about the opportunities and challenges of producing energy from ocean and tidal resources.

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Speakers included Steve Klein, the CEO of Snohomish PUD, who spoke about its plans for pilots on both tidal energy and geothermal sources, Roger Garratt, the Director of Resource Acquisition and Emerging Technology at Puget Sound Energy, who emphasized the urgency of finding alternative energy sources to meet the Renewable Portfolio Standards for Washington, and a range of speakers from both the United Kingdom and the State of Washington covering topics from operating demonstrations, through early stage design of new technology to legislation and environmental permitting.

The Pacific Northwest is identified as the region with most potential in the United States for wave and tidal power generation. However, we are still in the early stages of pinpointing the most promising sites around Puget Sound and along the ocean coasts. Significantly more data and research is required to assess the possible impacts on the marine environment. The UK has been piloting a range of wave/tidal generators since the mid-1990's and is building some valuable experience. They are also conscious of the concentrated effort required to bring together the range of specialties and interests to allow a pilot. One UK speaker talking of a pilot turbine in Northern Ireland commented- "Strangford Lough is an inland body of water surrounded by committees."

At the end of the symposium there was considerable interest in building ways of staying in touch and sharing information so that we can collaborate and accelerate the innovation path for this energy source. Washington Technology Center is identifying how best to support that effort.

The symposium formed part of a UK trade mission that was going on to meetings in Oregon and attending the Oregon Wave Energy Conference later in the week. It was planned and delivered through the collective support of UK Trade & Investment, Port of Seattle, Washington Clean Technology Alliance, Washington Technology Center, and Washington State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development.

Contributed by Graham Evans

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Research funding proposals due Oct. 23, 2008; next round of proposals due April 23, 2009

WTC competitively awards around $1 million annually to applied research projects that show strong potential for generating long-term economic impact in Washington state.

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    Washington's Innovation Summit 2009

    Please save April 9, 2009 on your calendar for Washington's Innovation Summit 2009 (formerly known as the Washington State Technology Summit). As we plan this event, we would appreciate a few moments of your time to answer four questions and provide us with information about what you'd like to see, hear and learn at this upcoming event.

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  • SBIR proposal writing workshop on October 31, 2008

    Washington Technology Center presents an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Program for Technology Entrepreneurs seminar on October 31, 2008 at the University of Washington Bothell campus.

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  • Multimillion-dollar nano tool coming to WTC Lab

    Within a year, companies and researchers will have access to a $2.5 million electron beam lithography tool to be housed in the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory. The machine, one of a handful available at U.S. institutions, will be acquired by the University of Washington with significant financial support from the Washington Research Foundation.

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  • More in UW News

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  • 2008 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference offered excellent networking

    Outstanding technical presentations and speeches characterized this annual event held at the Hilton Vancouver Washington September 8-10. The conference concluded with an industry panel addressing how micro/nano companies succeed in making the transition from start-up to growth.

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  • More in The Columbian

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  • Scientists develop new cancer-killing compound from salad plant

    Researchers at the University of Washington have updated a traditional Chinese medicine to create a compound that is more than 1,200 times more specific in killing certain kinds of cancer cells than currently available drugs, heralding the possibility of a more effective chemotherapy drug with minimal side effects. The compound is currently being licensed to Artemisia Biomedical Inc. for commercialization.

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  • Artemisia Biomedical is a WTC client

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  • Healionics announces first commercial product for biomaterial

    Healionics, a start-up company in Redmond, has entered into a multi-million dollar manufacturing, supply and distribution agreement for use of its biomaterial in a veterinary glaucoma implant made by TR BioSurgical. Healionics was founded on technology developed by Dr. Buddy Ratner and Dr. Andrew Marshall at the University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials center and licensed from UW.

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  • Read more in Xconomy

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    UW licenses 'camera in a pill' technology

    In one of its largest technology transfer deals, University of Washington has licensed imaging technology to medical-device maker Hoya, which plans to commercialize the technology in the next couple of years. Research funding for the technology came from several sources including Washington Technology Center.

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  • Read more in Puget Sound Business Journal

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  • Aculight Corp. acquired by Lockheed Martin

    Aculight, a Bothell-based developer of laser technologies for national defense and aerospace applications, has been acquired by Lockheed Martin. Aculight's 90 employees will remain in Bothell and will become part of Lockheed Martin's Maritime Systems & Sensors business.

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  • Insitu acquired by Boeing

    Insitu, a maker of unmanned aerial systems in Bingen, Washington for military and commercial customers, has been acquired by Boeing. Insitu will continue to operate independently as a separate subsidiary under Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' Military Aircraft unit.

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  • Read more in the Seattle Times

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  • Cultivating the Green Economy discussed at Governor's Conference

    Contributed by Graham Evans

    A panel discussion on job opportunities in Washington's growing green economy was one of the topics at the Governor's 2008 Economic and Workforce Development Conference held September 3-4 in Lynwood.

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    Some 150 attendees at the Governor's Conference participated in a three-hour session addressing the business opportunities and jobs potential available as we develop a Green Economy.

    The session was keynoted by Kathy Lombardo of CH2M HILL who gave an overview of what's happening around the world on sustainability. As an example of what others are doing she described the plans for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, that is planned as the world's first sustainable city -- zero waste and 100 percent renewable energy use. Focus on these objectives is accelerating development and adoption of technology. There's more on this initiative at www.inhabitat.com and www.masdaruae.com.

    Lee Cheatham (Executive Director of Washington Technology Center) then moderated a panel discussion about the potential for the state of Washington for green jobs.

    Alan Hardcastle of Washington State University is working with the State of Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development to establish a common set of definitions on 'green jobs' and 'green economy' and is aiming to identify both current and future jobs in the sector. He mentioned two key challenges we face -- addressing the retirement wave of some 50 percent of the workforce in the energy industry over the next 10 years and building the pipeline of trained/qualified people both to replace them and to fill other green job opportunities that are, as yet, incompletely defined.

    Maury Costantini of Siemens outlined the range of jobs and specialties that his company sees arising in a sustainable economy -- from energy conservation through the supply side of biomass digesters and other energy sources through to fuel transportation and plant operators.

    John Barclay of Prometheus Energy spoke of his company's work of capturing 'waste' emissions from landfills etc. and converting them to usable solid and liquid fuels.

    Dean Allen of McKinstry described the potential for cost savings and job creation from 'greening the built economy.' Thirty percent of greenhouse gases arise from commercial buildings and some 65 percent of all electricity in the U.S. goes to commercial buildings. Retrofitting energy efficient technology and other devices can save 30 to 40 percent of a buildings energy consumption. Every $1 million worth of such projects can create around five to six jobs -- and if implemented across the U.S. would cut 15 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.

    The afternoon concluded with discussion among breakout groups of some 25 people each, giving an opportunity to hear some of the opportunities and challenges both from a business and from an educational sector point of view. It was commented for example that no community college in the state is yet teaching energy efficiency and that companies like Schweitzer Engineering needing specialist skills in a relatively small employment market are going early into schools to coach children on the potential for them in the engineering sector.

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    PNNL's Spanner selected Outstanding Alumnus

    Gary Spanner, manager of the Economic Development Office at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been selected as the Columbia Basin College Foundation Outstanding Alumnus for his professional achievement, civic leadership, community service, and support of Columbia Basin College. Spanner was also named recently to the Advisory Board for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington.

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  • Bellingham's TAG fosters networking, connections

    Created in 1999, the Technology Alliance Group of Bellingham/Whatcom County (TAG) has thrived by focusing on education, advocacy and promotion on behalf of entrepreneurial technology-based businesses.

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  • Read more in Northwest Business Monthly

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  • MatchTech: A Celebration of Collaboration - Oct. 1, 2008

    Contributed by Suzanne Mitchell

    It's recognized that creativity and drive propel new ideas and products to market. Yet, when you look into the full success story of many entrepreneurial businesses, you find that along the way these companies figured out how to tap into resources for assistance at various points: for technical assistance, concept validation, financial injections, commercialization strategies and partners. They know that connecting with the right tools and resources at the right time makes significant difference in technology development, advancement and commercialization.

    MatchTech, held on October 1, 2008 in the Tri-Cities, was a celebration of several examples of businesses tapping into the state's technology innovation eco-system and accelerating business growth. Each presenting company shared its story of hitting a roadblock — whether technical, process, financial, or a crisis of purpose — and seeking out help. Bogert International, Elliot Bay Industries, GateSkate, Surgical Implant Generation Network and IsoRay Medical shared how each found partners to collaborate in order to push through that roadblock.

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    Partner organizations included Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sirti, Washington Manufacturing Services, Washington State University Tri-Cities Business Links, and Washington Technology Center. Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) R&D; awards and Washington Technology Center's state RTD grants funded critical research. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Technical Assistance program connected scientists to the companies to test, measure and validate concepts. Washington Manufacturing Services process expertise helped streamline operations and reduce expenses. WSU Tri-Cities Business Links and Washington Technology Center business consulting assisted with business planning and commercialization strategies.

    Peter Chase, CEO of Purcell Systems, was MatchTech lunch keynote speaker. Mr. Chase told of how Purcell Systems employs strategic alliances to create a virtual manufacturing operation with global partners serving global customers. Purcell Systems provides products used in worldwide communications infrastructures. Its virtual manufacturing strategy -- employing partners who deliver just-in-time for installation -- has enabled a small Northwest business to compete and win significant market share in an industry dominated by giants.

    MatchTech also included a mechanism to facilitate matching needs with solutions. Examples include technical problems that require scientific research to solve; innovative technologies that need a commercial partner to get to market; and operational bottlenecks to breakthrough with process improvement. SBIR and RTD grant awardees as well as university researchers were invited to MatchTech for introductions that may advance their technology commercialization. Matches made through this networking should produce more collaboration success stories.

    MatchTech illustrates that in business, as in life, weaving a network of collaborations -- local to global -- advances and accelerates innovation.

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