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3TIER, UW and WSU are part of $178M smart grid project

3TIER, a Seattle-based provider of renewable energy assessment and power forecasting services, and the University of Washington and Washington State University are among 12 Northwest utilities and several companies taking part in a smart grid demonstration project which received $89 million in stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, led by Battelle Memorial Institute in Richland, Wash., spans five states and will involve 60,000 consumers in a project that will validate new technologies and approaches for energy efficiency. Of the approximately $178 million total project cost, half will be cost-shared by the participants.

Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project
    Battelle - Richland, Wash.
  • DOE Selects the Northwest and 3TIER for $178M Smart Grid Demo
    3TIER press release - Seattle - November 24, 2009
  • Secretary Chu Announces $620 Million for Smart Grid Demonstration and Energy Storage Projects
  • Pacific Northwest to host smart grid demo
    Sustainable Industries - San Francisco - December 3, 2009
  • Pacific Northwest emerges as power player in ‘smart-grid’ sweepstakes
    Puget Sound Business Journal - Seattle - December 4, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • 3TIER is a WTC client
  • 3TIER cuts staff due to uncertainty in the renewable energy market
    Posted 10/09/2009
  • 3TIER opens offices in Germany, Australia and India
    Posted 4/06/2009
  • Washington's clean tech companies -- a list from Xconomy
    Posted 3/03/2009
  • 3TIER launches global wind prospecting tool
    Posted 2/06/2009
  • 3TIER receives $10M in venture funding
    Posted 12/18/2008

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    Washington issues inaugural edition of Aerospace Bulletin

    The Washington State Department of Commerce has launched the inaugural edition of the Washington State Quarterly Aerospace Bulletin. The goal of the bulletin is "to raise awareness and disseminate information on the Washington state aerospace cluster, local companies, and technologies."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Washington State Quarterly Aerospace Bulletin
    Washington State Department of Commerce - Olympia, Wash. - November 2009

  • Washington launches Aerospace Bulletin
    SeattlePI.com - Seattle - November 16, 2009

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    Notes from the South Sound Technology Conference

    The 10th annual South Sound Technology Conference, held November 20, 2009 at the University of Washington Tacoma, was "full of technical information, entreprenuerial strategies, mentorship advice, and - most importantly - philosophical questioning about what we value as a community," writes Colin Cronin, the Tacoma Public Policy Examiner for Examiner.com.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Overview of South Sound Technology Conference 2009
    Examiner.com - Tacoma - November 20, 2009

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    Washington awards $1.5M in Innovation Partnership Zone grants in Bothell, Walla Walla, Tri-Cities and Snohomish County

    The Washington State Department of Commerce announced $1.5 million in grants to Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZs) in Bothell, Walla Walla, Tri-Cities and Snohomish County.

    Winners of the 2009 IPZ grants:
  • Bothell Biomedical Device IPZ - $500,000 for the Washington MedTech Discovery Center.
  • Walla Walla IPZ - $500,000 for the expansion of the William A. Grant Water and Environmental Center at Walla Walla Community College.
  • Tri-Cities Research District - $250,000 to support the extension of broadband infrastructure through the 1,600 acre IPZ.
  • Aerospace Convergence Zone in Snohomish County - $250,000 to develop the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center.

    The IPZ program is an economic development model that encourages collaboration to advance innovation. The funds will help stimulate the growth of industry clusters and intellectual capital, while building regional economies. The program leads to new technologies, marketable products, company formation and job creation.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Washington State Department of Commerce awards $1.5 million in Innovation Partnership Zone grants to build regional economies
    Department of Commerce - Olympia, Wash. - November 24, 2009
  • Washington gives another $250,000 to aerospace center
    Seattle PI - Seattle - November 25, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Spokane IPZ completes data center
    Posted 10/28/2009
  • Central Washington energy consortium gains Innovation Partnership Zone designation
    Posted 10/09/2009
  • Opening of Bellingham's Waterfront Innovation Zone: Technology Development Center
    Posted 10/09/2009

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    UW to gain nation's first facility dedicated to molecular engineering

    University of Washington leaders broke ground Oct. 9, 2009 on the site of what will be the nation's first facility dedicated to molecular engineering. The $78 million UW molecular engineering building will consist of a 28,000-square-foot basement laboratory designed to protect against vibrations and electromagnetic interference. The lab will be the largest facility of its type on the West Coast.

    "Molecular engineering is going to be right in the middle of a lot of the big societal problems -- energy, health care, communications," said Matthew O'Donnell, Frank & Julie Jungers Dean of the College of Engineering. "I think it's going to be as central to new technologies in this century as mechanical, electrical, chemical and materials engineering were to technologies developed in the last century."

    The molecular engineering building will be ready for occupancy in 2012.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • UW breaks ground on nation's largest molecular engineering building
    University of Washington News - Seattle - October 9, 2009

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    McKinstry announces business incubator for clean energy technology

    McKinstry, a full-service builder with an emphasis on energy efficiency, has announced that it will create the McKinstry Innovation Center, a business incubator which will bring new and emerging companies together to advance the development of clean, green energy technologies. The 24,000 square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2010 and will be located at McKinstry's headquarters in the Georgetown area of Seattle.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • McKinstry to Build Innovation Center for Emerging Clean Energy Technology Companies
    McKinstry press release - Seattle - October 2009

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    Central Washington energy consortium gains Innovation Partnership Zone designation

    Washington's Department of Commerce announced October 1, 2009 that a Kittitas County partnership focused on developing renewable energy technologies has been designated as an Innovation Partnership Zone. The partnership, called the Central Washington Region Energy Consortium, is comprised of Kittitas County, Central Washington University (CWU), Economic Development Group of Kittitas County, Puget Sound Energy, and enXco Development Corporation. According to a press release, "The work of the IPZ will be conducted through collaboration with Puget Sound Energy, enXco, and CWU's 'Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology Degree Program,' which is expected to launch in 2010. In addition, the Central Washington University Research Foundation will serve as an intellectual resource enabling collaboration, development of technologies and commercialization."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Central Washington Energy Consortium wins Innovation Partnership Zone status
    Washington State Department of Commerce - Olympia, WA - October 1, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Innovation Partnership Zones will spur economic development
    Posted 10/19/2007


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    Opening of Bellingham's Waterfront Innovation Zone: Technology Development Center

    Bellingham's Waterfront Innovation Zone: Technology Development Center celebrated its dedication and grand opening on September 28, 2009. Governor Gregoire attended the ceremony along with representatives from the center's partners: Western Washington University, Bellingham Technical College and the Port of Bellingham. The 10,000 square foot facility will focus mainly on marine-industry research and development, providing researchers and students with hands-on opportunities to increase the competitiveness of local industry.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Western remains interested in cooperation on waterfront
    The Bellingham Herald - Bellingham, WA - November 14, 2009

  • Engineering center opens
    The Western Front - Bellingham, WA - October 02, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Bellingham Innovation Zone preview event -- June 19, 2009
    Posted 6/08/2009
  • Innovation Partnership Zones will spur economic development
    Posted 10/19/2007

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    Oct. 14, 2009 -- Foresight seminar: How Small Businesses Can Successfully Commercialize Technology

    Washington Small Business Development Centers and Washington Technology Center present this must-see seminar, based on Foresight Science & Technology's instruction to SBIR awardees of the agencies Foresight supports as an SBIR Commercialization Support Contractor.

    The seminar provides an overview of the process of commercialization including how to

    * Determine entry markets
    * Find customers
    * Develop a commercialization strategy
    * Find commercialization partners and funding
    * Value your technology
    * Determine royalty rates
    * Develop a term sheet
    * Conduct negotiations

    The presentation includes many real-world examples and attendees are encouraged to ask questions.

    Speaker:

    Phyl Speser, J.D., Ph.D., author of the best selling text book, "The Art & Science
    of Technology Transfer"

    Location:

    WSU West
    Pike Tower Building
    520 Pike Street, Suite 1101
    Seattle, WA
    Parking available: Pike Tower Bldg., Convention Center; Washington Athletic Club.

    Registration:

    $20
    Space limited to 35 registrants.
    Deadline Oct. 9, 2009.

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    Foresight Science & Technology commercializes between 500-800 new technologies each year. Among our customers, we serve as a Commercialization Support Contractor for the US DOE, EPA, NSF, NIST, USDA, DOD, and NIH Small Business Innovation Research Programs as well as state programs in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Indiana, etc. The company also supports individual small and large business, universities and technical institutes, government laboratories, and foundations such as the Wallace Coulter Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation. For more information on services and customers see http://www.ForesightST.com.

    Dr. Phyl Speser has been called one of the founders of the modern practice of technology transfer by Ashley Stevens, President of the Association of University Technology Managers and Executive Director of the technology transfer office at Boston University; He has supported successful commercialization of technologies in fields from optics to software and pharmaceuticals to wind power. His is also the author of many publications on technology transfer, commercialization, and science policy - including the best selling textbook The Art and Science of Technology Transfer (John Wiley and Sons, 2006) and a frequent presenter at professional meetings. Dr. Speser is a member of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, the Association of University Technology Managers (where he is on the Public Policy Committee) and the Licensing Executives Society (where he is Chair, Strategic Alliance Committee). He served two terms on the Board of the Technology Transfer Society, is a recipient of their Certificate of Appreciation (1991). He also was Chairman of its Task Force on National Technology Transfer Policy (1989-1991), and received Best Paper, Annual Meeting (1987). He was a gubernatorial appointment to the Board of the Washington Technology Center from 1994 to 1997. Dr. Speser has taught intellectual property at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, anthropology at The American University, Washington, DC, and political science at the Universitat Mannheim, Germany and the State University of New York at Buffalo. Prior to founding Foresight, he was Special Assistant for Science Policy at the Federation of American Scientists. He was the lead lobbyist for the Small Business Innovation Development Act, developer of the STTR concept with Roland Tibbetts, and a lobbyist for the Technology Transfer Act of 1989, among other legislation. During the 1980's, he also was the point person for the science community on the Federal budget as Executive Director of the National Coalition for Science & Technology. Dr. Speser holds a Ph.D. and a J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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    Linden Rhoads focusing UW TechTransfer on startups

    University of Washington Vice Provost Linden Rhoads has been at the helm of UW TechTransfer for a year now, with a focus on helping startups commercialize technology. Rhoads, who also serves as a WTC board director, is profiled in a TechFlash article that also highlights the challenges and opportunities facing TechTransfer.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Startup vet Rhoads hits one-year mark at UW TechTransfer
    TechFlash - Seattle, WA - August 21, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Entrepreneur advises slower path to technology transfer
    Posted 4/16/2009
  • UW TechTransfer bringing entrepreneurs to UW campus
    Posted 3/31/2009

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    UW honors Hauck, Gupta, and NanoTech User Facility with 2009 Community of Innovators Awards

    University of Washington researchers Scott Hauck and Maya Gupta, and the NanoTech User Facility team of Scott Braswell, Xiaoxia Gao, Paul Wallace, and Qiuming Yu have been honored by the UW College of Engineering with 2009 Community of Innovators Awards. The Community of Innovators Awards acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the college’s teaching and research assistants, staff, and faculty members.

    Scott Hauck, of the UW Department of Electrical Engineering, received the award for Faculty Innovator: Teaching and Learning for his outstanding contributions to improving engineering education.

    Maya Gupta, also of the UW Department of Electrical Engineering, was honored in the category of Faculty Innovator: Junior for exemplifying excellence in research and/or education.

    The NanoTech User Facility team of Scott Braswell, Xiaoxia Gao, Paul Wallace, and Qiuming Yu were honored with the team innovator award for a superior, sustained effort that has contributed significantly to the mission of the college.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • UW Engineering - Community of Innovators Awards
  • UW NanoTech User Facility

    Related WTC links:

  • Scott Hauck is a research partner with WTC client Impulse Accelerated Technologies
  • Maya Gupta is a research partner with WTC client CHROMiX

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    CTED becomes Washington State Department of Commerce, with emphasis on job creation

    On July 26, 2009, the Washington State Department of Commerce was officially launched -- creating a new name and mission for a state agency formerly known as the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED).

    The department's Governor-appointed director, Rogers Weed, has said that the organization's new mission is essentially to grow and improve jobs in the state.

    By November 1, 2009, Weed must submit to the Governor and appropriate state legislative committees a report with analyses and recommendations for statutory and program changes.

    Over the past two months the agency has been gathering input through a series of conversations with more than 100 stakeholders across the state. In addition, the public is invited to complete a brief survey that will further guide the agency as it prioritizes areas for research.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • New agency Web site: www.commerce.wa.gov
  • Department of Commerce survey
  • New name, mission for office
    The Olympian Online - WA - July 24, 2009
  • CTED becomes Washington State Department of Commerce, heightens focus on job growth
    Washington State Department of Commerce - WA - July 23, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • CTED: new director Rogers Weed, and proposed new name Department of Commerce
    Posted 3/25/2009

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    enterpriseSeattle and partners helped bring 100 new jobs to Bellevue

    For more than a year, enterpriseSeattle helped Atlanta-based IT services provider Cbeyond, Inc. evaluate regional locations for expansion before the company ultimately chose Bellevue. Cbeyond plans to add 100 jobs to its Bellevue presence in the next six months.

    enterpriseSeattle reports collaborating closely with other groups from the region including the Governor's office, the City of Bellevue, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, King County, and the Workforce Development Council for Seattle and King County to identify resources for the company.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • enterpriseSeattle
  • Cbeyond

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    WTIA announces tech bands performing at annual summer celebration - July 30, 2009

    WTIA's Summer Celebration is the hottest event of the summer! It's just two weeks away, so register now for online pricing and beat the lines at onsite registration. The Summer Celebration is the bash that everyone in the technology industry looks forward to each summer. This year WTIA teamed up with Xconomy to bring you a musical element that you don't want to miss: Seattle's first ever Battle of the Tech Bands. What's better than enjoying Pyramid's best grub and a cold drink with friends, all while listening to some local bands? Not much ... so, don't miss this must-attend event.

    Check out the bands who will be performing live on the 30th:

    - Afraid of Figs (Representing MorphoTrak, Robert Half Technology).
    - Between These Lines (Representing HP).
    - Indigo Soul (Representing Microsoft, Adobe, Caiman Consulting).
    - Juda's Wake (Representing Microsoft).
    - Lions Ambition (Representing Microsoft, Boeing).

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • WTIA Annual Summer Celebration

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    Clean Technology Innovation Partnership Zone in Pullman, Wash. is featured in video

    In a five-minute video, Don Tilton, Ph.D., founder of the Green IT Alliance, describes the Pullman, Washington Innovation Partnership Zone which is establishing a clean technology research center of excellence and a small-business incubator. In 2008, the Green IT Alliance received funding from the State of Washington to establish an Innovation Partnership Zone with partners including Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to work on collaborative research initiatives and demonstration projects

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Innovation Partnership Zone on Vimeo
    Produced by More Dust Than Digital

    Related WTC links:

  • Bellingham Innovation Zone preview event -- June 19, 2009
    Posted 6/08/2009
  • Due August 15, 2008: Community applications for IPZ designation
    Posted 7/16/2008
  • Innovation Partnership Zones will spur economic development
    Posted 10/19/2007

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    July 15, 2009 - The Washington Energy and Defense Alliance (WEDA)

    The Washington Energy and Defense Alliance is an emerging non-profit alliance, which is intended to support a local network of individuals, firms, universities and coalitions which are actively involved in energy production, alternative energy development and national security and defense. Washington EDA seeks to recognize the intersection of national security and energy independence issues and to bring visibility to the unique solutions that exist in Washington state. The ultimate goal of the Washington EDA is to nurture and expand Washington’s science, technology and job base and further promote Washington state’s industry participation in delivering energy and defense solutions to the national market

    Date(s): July 15, 2009 (Wednesday)
    Time: 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    Location: Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200,Seattle, WA
    URL: http://www.WashingtonEDA.org
    Contact: William Reynolds
    (877) 632-4242 x108
    william.reynolds@modumetal.com

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    Guide to ARRA energy funding from Prosperity Partnership

    The Prosperity Partnership has produced a guide to ARRA (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) entitled: "A Basic Introduction to Energy-Related ARRA Funding Opportunities." The publication provides guidance for organizations seeking energy-related funding through competitive grants and contracts.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Download the guide [.ppt]

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    2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference Announces Keynote Speakers, Preliminary Program and Advanced Registration - Sept. 21-23, 2009 in Portland Ore.

    The 2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, co-hosted by Washington Technology Center and Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, and presented by Hewlett-Packard Co. and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, today announces its preliminary program and lineup of keynote speakers.

    Keynoting the 2009 conference will be:

    Dr. Jud W. Virden, Jr.
    Energy Sector Manager
    Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Dr. Donald Tomalia
    Director of the National Dendrimer Center, Central Michigan University

    Dr. B. Ray Stults
    Associate Laboratory Director Energy Sciences, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    Dr. James B. Roberto
    Director, Strategic Capabilities
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Dr. Rosa Yang
    Vice President, Innovation
    Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

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    The peer-reviewed presentation program, posted at http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/MNBC/program.html features:

    Technical Sessions
    * Advanced Nanomaterials for Energy Storage
    * Sensor Systems
    * Microtechnology for Energy Applications
    * Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
    * Electron and Ion Beam Nanofabrication
    * Bioconjugation at the Nanoscale
    * Microfabrication and MEMS Devices
    * Nanotechnology for Disease Detection and Drug Delivery
    * Photonics
    * High Performance, Greener Nanomaterials and Applications

    ...a full-day symposium on Solar Energy
    Industry growth, materials overview and focus on thin film materials science breakthroughs

    ...three half-day short courses

    * Nanotechnology 101: What Technology and Business Professionals Should Know
    * Nanotechnology Commercialization: Intellectual Property and Patent Reform
    * Arrayed Microchannel Technology Industry Forum

    ...a combined research poster session and company exhibition

    ...and an investor-led closing panel:
    The Changing Face of Technology Transfer and Early Stage Venture Funding

    The MNBC, now in its 6th year, is widely regarded as the best regional "small tech" event in the nation, and expects to attract over 300 professionals from the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

    Sponsors to date include Hewlett-Packard, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, FEI Company, Stoel Rives, Christensen O'Connor Johnson & Kindness, Life Technologies, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, Nanotechnology Now, and Eclipse Technologies.

    The special rate for full conference registration is available until September 11, 2009 at www.micronbc.org.

    For further information, please visit www.micronbc.org or contact the conference manager:

    Skip Rung
    President and Executive Director
    ONAMI
    skip@onami.us
    541.231.4883

    Event: 2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference
    When: September 21-23, 2009
    Location: Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, Portland, Oregon
    Description: Science, commercialization and networking for the micro- and nano-tech innovation economy.
    Registration: A special rate for full conference registration is available until September 11, 2009
    Web site: http://www.micronbc.org
    Contact: Robert D. "Skip" Rung, president and executive director, Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. E-mail: skip@onami.us

    About Washington Technology Center
    Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center's work has generated more than $600 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit www.watechcenter.org or call 206-685-1920.

    About ONAMI
    ONAMI (Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute) is Oregon's first Signature Research Center, with $37M in state investment since 2003. ONAMI's dual mission is to rapidly grow collaborative research and commercialization of NanoScience and MicroTechnologies to foster the creation of new products, companies and jobs in the Pacific Northwest. It unites the University of Oregon (Eugene), Oregon State University (Corvallis), Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.), the state of Oregon, private investors and leading companies in the world-leading "Silicon Forest" small-tech industry cluster. Principal activities include development a network of shared user facilities and management of a proof-of-concept stage gap grant fund that has so far enabled 14 new companies.

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    Bellingham Innovation Zone preview event -- June 19, 2009

    The Bellingham waterfront Innovation Partnership Zone will be the program topic at the June 19, 2009 monthly luncheon hosted by TAG (Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington). Representatives from the Port of Bellingham, Western Washington University and Bellingham Technical College will be on hand to discuss this partnership to develop lab-to-market opportunities for innovation, commercialization and job creation.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • More information and registration

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    Nanotechnology Health & Safety Forum - June 8-9, 2009

    The Nanotech Health and Safety Forum is being presented in Seattle at the Edgewater on June 8-9, sponsored by Batelle, UW, Univ. of Oregon, Oregon State, Riddell, Intertox, and others.

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    Date(s): June 8, 2009 (Monday) to June 9, 2009 (Tuesday)
    Time: 12:00 PM to 12:00 PM
    Location: The Edgewater Hotel, 2411 Alaskan Way, Pier 67, Seattle, WA 98121
    URL: http://www.nhsf2009.org/
    Description:

    This conference is being held in conjunction with the first-ever U.S. meeting of the International Standards Organization Technical Action Group 229. This group is focused in substantial part on drafting global standards for safe use of nano materials and is meeting just down the waterfront at Bell Harbor during that same week.

    Assembled are an extraordinary faculty of panelists, including some of the top researchers, regulators, underwriters and loss control specialists in the country dealing with the critical issue for these uniquely capable materials: are they safe to work with and when will industry know? In addition, although the ISO/ANSI program is a closed meeting, there will be some overlap through a key reception and some cross over speakers, making this a great opportunity to meet the leading edge thinkers from 24 countries on this issue - over 200 scientists, corporate figures, insurers, regulators, and others.

    There will also be an MIT Enterprise Forum on nano research and use in conjunction with the reception.

    Featured Speakers
    -Dr. Leroy Hood, renowned co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology and recipient of the Biotechnology Heritage Award.

    -Dr. Kenneth Dawson, Director of the Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI), the Irish national platform for excellence in the interaction of nanoparticles with living systems (www.cbni.eu).

    -Dr. Justin Teeguarden, one of the authors of the recent National Research Council report "Review of the Federal Strategy to Address Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials."

    For more confirmed speakers and panelists for the NHSF, please visit the website at www.nhsf2009.org.

    Contact: Ammon Gilbert
    206.443.2115
    agilbert@intertox.com

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    Notes from the Angel Capital Association Summit 2009

    The Angel Capital Association Summit 2009, held April 15-17 in Atlanta, highlighted current statistics and trends in early-stage investing. WTC Angel Network Manager Elaine Kong attended the conference and filed these notes.

    Investment Trends
  • Currently, there are about 300 angel groups in the US.
  • In 2008, each angel group:
    • Made an average of 6.3 investments;
    • Invested an average of $1.77M;
    • Invested an average of $277K per round;
    • Invested in an average of 3.7 new companies.
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  • In 2008, 62.7% had follow-on or co-investments with VC firms and 23.4% had 1 or more positive exits.
  • Major trends: A survey conducted in March 2009 indicated:
    • 40% of angels believe that deals and dollars will be down in 2009.
    • Over 53% will be involved in co-investments with other angels or angel groups.
  • Investment preference (in order of decreasing preference):
    • Medical Devices and Equipment
    • Software
    • Biotechnology
    • IT Services
    • Energy
    • Business Products and Services
    Alternative Means of Exit
  • Secondary markets: Funds that focus on acquiring direct investments, portfolios of investments, and limited partnership interests in VC.
  • Provide new path to liquidity: Take some chips off the table; lock in return; use proceeds to back new investments; and possible participation in future upside.
  • Secondary markets have ballooned from $3B in 2007 to $5.7B in 2008.

    Bridge Notes
  • Company has a signed term sheet, but does not close soon enough. Lead investor proposes bridge note. Important to give lead investor significant position so that incentives are aligned between lead, bridge note holders and company. This way, it incentivizes next round investors to honor bridge note terms.
  • Most often, bridge note is used in the following situation: Company requires cash but has no lead investor or term sheet for next round. Therefore, company and some existing investors agree on a bridge note to fund company until next round investors are found. Usually, the note is structured with interest plus a price discount on next round or warrants. Problem with this is that the note is an agreement between company and some existing investors; however, note terms is applied to the next round led by a third party. Some of the remedies include: specifying that bridge note share price discount paid via dilution of existing shareholders; separating note or veto power on any terms changes; prohibiting company from accepting term sheet that eliminates share price discount.
  • Standard terms to consider in all bridge notes:
    • Participation rights in next round
    • Approval of any additional debt
    • Premium if company is acquired
    • Resolution if cash not raised by note due date
    Angel Group Management and Compensation
  • Management Activities:
    • Member recruitment
    • Communication with members
    • Investment Activities: fund raising, deal flow, deal negotiations
    • Portfolio Management
    • Relationships with service providers
  • Management compensation: Average direct pay of $75K (can be up to $150K), some receive portion of carried interest.
  • Form of compensation: Salary, benefits, bonus, and performance-based compensation.

    Public Policy
  • Stimulus Bill – New 75% exclusion of capital gains for qualified small business stock held more than five years and purchased between 2.17.09 and 12.31.10.
  • House Proposed Legislation – SBA Office of Angel Investing $50M over 3 years
  • Administration Budget Proposal - $2B to mach seed funds and angel group investments
  • State Programs – Over 30 states support angel investing. It is coined the most cost effective economic development dollar spent. State tax credits: 20% - 100%. Co-investment funds $1M - $8M. There are also education and administration grants as well as technology councils and economic development structures supporting angel activities.

    Syndication
  • Co-investment is the most prominent trend amongst angel groups. Most angels prefer to co-invest with other angels or angel groups over co-investments with VCs.
  • WTC’s regional co-investment call is featured in the ACA published syndication guide as a model to follow. The Pacific Northwest is recognized as one of the leaders in co-investment.
  • The ACA Collaboration Committee (in which Elaine Kong is a member) is testing out nationwide syndication by selecting and presenting four companies at the ACA Summit. The Collaboration Committee will reconvene in June to analyze interests and results.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Expert: Venture capital will focus on cleantech
    Bizjournals.com - Apr 17, 2009
  • Berkus details 'Age of Recommendation'
    Bizjournals.com - Apr 17, 2009
  • Visit the Angel Capital Association Web site

    Related WTC links:

  • Angel investing declined 10 percent in 2008

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    Life Sciences Discovery Fund opens 2009 summer commercialization grant competition

    LSDF plans to award up to $750,000 in its 2009 Summer Commercialization Grants Competition. Individual awards will be up to $150,000 in total costs, with work expected to be completed within one year. A required pre-proposal is due Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

    According to the LSDF announcement, grants will fund research and development of new technologies to reduce the risk associated with their commercialization. This work, often referred to as "prototype development," or "proof of principle" or "reduction to practice" experimentation is supported by LSDF to improve health and health care and to foster economic development within Washington state. Full proposals are due on Wednesday, September 9 and awards will be announced in mid December.

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  • Learn more at the Life Sciences Discovery Fund

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    Life sciences commercialization initiative signed into law by Governor Gregoire

    Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law E2SSB 6015 which directs the department of community, trade, and economic development (CTED) to review commercialization and innovation in the life sciences and technology sectors.

    According to the final bill report, CTED is required to report to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2009, on methods Washington can use to encourage and support innovation in life sciences and information technology. CTED must look at ways to increase the amount of regional capital for early investments, examine state laws regarding these technologies, evaluate Washington's technology-based economic development efforts, and review the status of technology transfer efforts at research universities.

    CTED must provide a draft report to the Washington Economic Development Council (EDC), which must prepare written observations about the draft report and its relation to the overall strategies proposed by the EDC.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • View bill information for E2SSB 6015

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    Clean technology initiative signed into law by Washington Governor Gregoire

    Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law SSB 5921 which requires the governor to convene a temporary Clean Energy Leadership Council. The Council, in collaboration with a statewide, public-private alliance, will prepare a strategy for growing the clean energy technology sector in Washington state.

    According to the bill, the Council is to submit an interim clean energy strategy and initial recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by December 1, 2009, and the final clean energy strategy and recommendations by December 1, 2010. The Department of Community Trade and Economic Development is to consider the clean energy strategy when preparing its application for federal state energy program funding and determining the type and number of projects to fund, and is to consult the Clean Energy Leadership Council prior to awarding federal energy stimulus funding for clean energy projects.

    "We must coordinate the efforts of alternative energy entrepreneurs and innovators with public and private resources," said Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D–Kitsap County, primary sponsor of the bill. "This will help move their ideas into commercial application and create clean energy job opportunities."

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  • View bill information for SSB 5921

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    Washington's tech sector had fourth consecutive year of job growth in 2007

    Washington's tech sector added 11,300 jobs in 2007 -- marking the fourth consecutive year of job growth -- data shows in TechAmerica's recently released Cyberstates 2009 report.

    "Although Washington experienced its fourth year of job growth in 2007, the outlook for the future remains uncertain, and our expectations for growth are tempered by the current economic situation," said Terry Byington, Executive Director, TechAmerica Washington.

    Washington's National Tech Sector Employment Rankings:

    1st in software publishers employment with 47,600 jobs
    8th in electromedical equipment manufacturing with 3,600 jobs
    13th in R&D; and testing labs employment with 20,100 jobs

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  • Read more at TechAmerica

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    CTED and Alibaba.com offer a free company listing to Wash. companies

    CTED (Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development) has been invited by business-to-business Web site Alibaba.com to promote Washington companies and products around the globe. With over 16 million users, Alibaba is the world’s largest B2B marketplace and a great place to sell and to buy. CTED's "State Your Products Program" is a free service for Washington businesses and there will be no financial obligations for participating companies.

    By completing CTED's online survey, your company and the products you post will be processed and placed onto the Alibaba.com marketplace. Participants must be a registered business in the state of Washington and supply all required product and contact information. If you include the URL of your product catalog in the survey, CTED will integrate that directly into the portal at no cost to you or your company. Alibaba.com will notify you via email when your products are posted and you will be able to review your company and product profiles. You will also be able to edit and add images to customize your store front.

    To have your company listed on Alibaba.com, simply fill out the online registration form using the link below. For specific questions, please contact Troy DeFrank at 206-256-6145.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • CTED's online survey and registration form

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    Seattle Chamber: Focus On Attracting Angel Investors - May 7, 2009

    Attracting angel investments requires a good understanding of what these unique investors are looking for. Learn to stand out from the startup masses at May's Focus On.

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    Seattle Chamber: Focus On Attracting Angel Investors - May 7, 2009

    Date(s): May 7, 2009 (Thursday)
    Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
    Location: One Union Square Boardroom (600 University St.Seattle 98101)
    URL: http://list.seattlechamber.com/t/5506/168216/2189/0/
    Description: Attracting Angel Investors

    Attracting angel investments requires a good understanding of what these unique investors are looking for. Learn to stand out from the startup masses at May's Focus On. Join us as Glenn Gregory of Obsidian Investment Advisors helps small businesses de-mystify the processes of angel investing and gaining startup capital.

    Focus On: Attracting Angel Investors
    Presented by Glenn Gregory
    Date: Thursday, May 7
    Time: Noon - 1:30 p.m.
    Place: One Union Square Boardroom (600 University St.Seattle 98101)
    Cost: $20 ($25 after 5/5; lunch provided)
    Register: Online or contact Nikki Ross at nikkir@seattlechamber.com or 206.389.7338.

    About the presenter:
    Glenn Gregory is principal of Obsidian Investment Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm he founded in 1998. Obsidian has the distinction of being one of only two African-American owned registered investment advisory firms in Washington State. Gregory is highly respected for his financial acumen, business ethics and depth of knowledge. Prior to Obsidian, Gregory worked in international business developmet, traveling the globe structuring joint ventures and turning-around several underperforming divisions. His international business management experience includes, operations and finance, working with British Petroleum, Delphi Automotive Systems, and Microsoft Corporation.

    Contact: Nikki Ross
    206.389.7338
    nikkir@seattlechamber.com

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    WSU Vancouver engineering building gets $26.7 M in capital budget

    Washington State University received $26.7 million in the state legislature's 2009-11 capital budget for construction of a new engineering facility at WSU Vancouver. The four-story WSU teaching and research facility, called the Applied Technology Classroom Building, will meet some of the most pressing employment needs of Southwest Washington and the entire state in computer science and electrical engineering. Construction is planned to begin this year.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • WSUV wins millions for building
    The Columbian - Vancouver, WA - April 24, 2009

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    UW IGERT Nanotechnology Conference - June 10-12, 2009

    The Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Washington will be holding its annual IGERT Nanotechnology Conference jointly with Japan’s National Institute for Material Science (NIMS) on June 10th, 11th and 12th at the UW Tower. The themes for this year’s conference are photonics, energy and bio-nanotechnology.

    The three day event will consist of plenary sessions, poster session and reception and facility tours of the Center for Nanotechnology. Featured speakers include George Whitesides from Harvard University, James Gimzewski from UCLA, and Bryon Gates from Simon Fraser University.

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    IGERT Nanotechnology Conference

    Frontiers in Nanotechnology

    Date(s): June 10, 2009 (Wednesday) to June 12, 2009 (Friday)
    Time: 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location: UW Tower Seattle, WA
    URL: http://depts.washington.edu/ntuf/outreach/workshop09.php

    A list of invited speakers and tentative schedule can be found on the event Web site while planning is being finished. Registration is FREE, but seating is limited to 200 people. Please registrar using the link above to attend this event.

    RSVP: No fee to attend, but seating is limited.

    Contact: Mack Carter
    206.616.9320
    mcarter@U.WASHINGTON.EDU

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    2009 NIST Technology R&D Competition to Address Civil Infrastructure, Manufacturing

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a 2009 competition for multiyear research funding in two major areas of national interest, civil infrastructure and manufacturing, under its Technology Innovation Program (TIP). TIP expects to provide $15 million in cost-shared funding for approximately 25 new R&D; projects.

    TIP promotes technological innovation by providing funding support to challenging, high-risk research projects that address critical national needs. The merit-based, competitive program can fund R&D; projects by single small-sized or medium-sized businesses or by joint ventures that also may include institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations and national laboratories. The 2009 TIP competition is open to projects developing new technologies for the practical application of advanced materials, including nanomaterials, advanced alloys and composites, in manufacturing; and the monitoring or retrofit of major public infrastructure systems, including water systems, dams and levees, and bridges, roads and highways.

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  • NIST TIP Web site

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    Entrepreneur advises slower path to technology transfer

    Joe Eichinger, co-founder and president of medical-device company CoAptus Medical Corp in Redmond, advises university researchers to fully form their intellectual property before pursuing commercialization, he says in an interview with Xconomy. Eichinger is providing early-stage business advice to University of Washington researchers as part of UW TechTransfer's LaunchPad Entrepreneur Advisers program. Eichinger, a start-up veteran and co-founder of WTC-funded EKOS Corporation, cautions would-be entrepreneurs to flesh out several potential applications of their technology to avoid prematurely locking in on the first 'good' business idea.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Putting UW Startup Dreams on Hold: Entrepreneur Advises Researchers to Nurture Ideas More
    Xconomy - Seattle, WA - April 7, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • UW TechTransfer bringing entrepreneurs to UW campus

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    CTED releases online guide for small businesses in Washington state

    ­The Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) released the 2009 Guide for Small Business in Washington State. The comprehensive guide provides entrepreneurs and small business owners clickable access to a variety of resources needed to start and successfully manage a business.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Download the free guide [PDF]
  • Read the announcement by Larry Williams, CTED assistant director

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    PNNL's Jim Buelt will be giving a presentation entitled "Used Nuclear Fuel: From Waste to Resource" at summit

    A sustainable nuclear energy approach will be essential for meeting our nation’s future energy needs. So says Jim Buelt, nuclear energy sector manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

    Buelt will make his case at Washington’s Innovation Summit 2009 on April 9 in Bellevue, Wash., contending that only by closing the fuel cycle – recycling spent nuclear fuel – will power plants get full use of the fuel’s stored energy content and realize nuclear energy's full potential.

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    "Nuclear power – paving the road to sustainable energy"

    The PNNL manager recognizes nuclear power as a key contributor in solving both energy and carbon stabilization demands. Moreover, given its impressive nuclear workforce and existing infrastructure, he believes Washington state is prepared to make important contributions in technology development and implementation.

    Buelt will present “Used Nuclear Fuel: From Waste to Resource” at Washington’s Innovation Summit 2009 next Thursday.

    With America’s electricity needs predicted to double by 2050 and with a global desire to stabilize carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change, Buelt considers nuclear power an essential element in the nation’s energy portfolio.

    For more information about the presentation, contact Geoff Harvey, PNNL Media Relations, at (509) 372-6083 (Geoffrey.Harvey@pnl.gov).

    Related WTC links:

  • Learn more about Washington's Innovation Summit 2009

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    The Washington State Economic Development Commission has proposed a new economic development strategy

    The Washington State Economic Development Commission has issued a proposal called "The Washington Innovation Economy: A New Economic Strategy for Prosperity."

    Here's an excerpt: "Washington State is in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis that increases the need to make new policy choices and investment priorities. While policy attention will necessarily focus on the immediate and short term, we must also address longer term challenges. Our economy is undergoing a profound structural adjustment and facing new global realities. We need to come out of this recession stronger, more agile and more innovative."

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  • Read the full strategy [PDF]

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    UW TechTransfer bringing entrepreneurs to UW campus

    UW TechTransfer has introduced two programs to support researchers looking to start companies or to commercialize their technologies. The Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program is aimed at entrepreneurs who are looking for commercializable ideas from the University. The LaunchPad Entrepreneur Advisers program creates a pool of business people available to mentor UW researchers about starting a company.

    "This is part of building an innovation ecosystem for the state of Washington," said Janis Machala, director of LaunchPad Services, a division of UW TechTransfer that helps create UW startups.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in University Week

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    CTED: new director Rogers Weed, and proposed new name Department of Commerce

    Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has named former Microsoft executive Rogers Weed to head the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED). Weed started his new role March 15. Governor Gregoire requested the legislature to rename CTED to the Department of Commerce in order to sharpen the department's focus on keeping jobs and attracting business to the state. The bill to rename CTED has passed the House and is now before the Senate.

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  • Read more in the Seattle Times

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    Washington's clean tech companies -- a list from Xconomy

    Xconomy, a business and technology publication, recently compiled a list of Washington's clean technology and alternative energy companies.

    Luke Timmerman, the national biotechnology editor for Xconomy, writes that they "defined the alternative energy industry broadly, including innovative developers of biofuels, solar power, wind, and energy storage, as well as technologies for hybrid vehicles and smart-grid applications and software for energy efficiency and conservation."

    WTC client companies on the list include 3TIER, Boeing, EnerG2, InnovaTek, Microsoft, and Neah Power Systems. Several speakers at Washington's Innovation Summit 2009 come from companies on the list (Blue Marble Energy, General Biodiesel, PACCAR, and Prometheus Energy).

    Xconomy compiled the list of more than 80 Washington companies with the assistance of several organizations and people: The Washington state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development; the Washington Clean Technology Alliance; Rick LeFaivre of OVP Venture Partners; Eric Gertsman of the University of Washington; Jane Shaw of the Canadian Consulate’s office in Seattle; Pernick of Clean Edge; Gary Spanner of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA; and Kim Zentz of Sirti in Spokane, WA.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the article and view the list at Xconomy

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC client list
  • Washington's Innovation Summit 2009

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    SSTI details stimulus provisions affecting technology-based economic development

    SSTI (the State Science and Technology Institute) devotes an issue of its online weekly digest to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed into law by President Obama. SSTI examines the stimulus plan's funding for energy research, access to broadband, health information technology, R&D-funding; agencies, and more.

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  • Read more in the SSTI Weekly Digest

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    WTIA produces Puget Sound tech industry poster

    A year-long project, Visualizing the Puget Sound Technology Universe, finds that the region's technology industry traces is roots to six organizations: Microsoft, Aldus Corporation, University of Washington, Boeing, McCaw Cellular, and Amazon.com. The joint project between Virginia Tech, Seattle University, and Washington Technology Industry Association has produced a visual poster depicting the genealogy of 711 companies and organizations.

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  • View the poster at WTIA
  • Read more in Insciences Organisation

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    AeA and ITAA are now TechAmerica

    Effective January 1, 2009, AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association) and the Information Technology Association of America merged to form the Technology Association of America, which will be known by the brand name TechAmerica. Christopher W. Hansen, president and CEO of AeA, announced the brand name February 8 in an email to members. According to Hansen, "the descriptor line, 'The Association of Companies Driving Innovation Worldwide,' like the brand name, is grounded in the belief that our members make America synonymous with technology – and drive that technology around the world."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in the AeA press release

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    Washington venture capital data

    A MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) shows U.S. venture capital investments declined in 2008, the first yearly decline since 2003. The State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) maintains a Venture Capital Dashboard that gives a state-by-state breakdown of data from the report.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at SSTI
  • SSTI's Venture Capital Dashboard - WA venture capital summary
  • SSTI's Venture Capital Dashboard - WA investment by stage

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    Northwest Entrepreneur Network Announces Rebecca Lovell as New Executive Director

    The NWEN board has selected Rebecca Lovell, Program Director of the Alliance of Angels, as the new NWEN Executive Director. The Northwest Entrepreneur Network (www.nwen.org) is a non-profit organization that provides the learning, connections and inspiration entrepreneurs need to build companies with high growth potential.

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    Reprinted from the NWEN Press Release:

    Northwest Entrepreneur Network Announces Rebecca Lovell as New Executive Director

    Lovell brings valuable experience guiding early-stage companies and their investors to success

    BELLEVUE, Wash. (Jan. 22, 2009) -- Following an extensive but expedited search, the NWEN board has selected Rebecca Lovell, Program Director of the Alliance of Angels, as the new Executive Director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. Founded in 1985 with a mission to empower entrepreneurs, NWEN now boasts over 700 members and a track record of successful educational and social programs. With signature events ranging from Entrepreneur University to Pub Nights, NWEN brings startups and key partners together to unlock the success factors in entrepreneurship.

    Ben Straughan, NWEN board chair, and Connie Bourassa-Shaw, board member and former NWEN Executive Director, co-chaired the search committee. Of the search, Straughan remarks, “We were thrilled with the overwhelming response, signaling the community’s support of the NWEN mission and its recognition of the great opportunity in the Executive Director position.” Bourassa-Shaw adds, “We are fiercely proud of NWEN’s accomplishments and innovations in recent years, and we’re absolutely committed to keeping that momentum going. We saw this search as an opportunity to hire a unique candidate, well-known to Seattle, with an obvious affinity for startups.” Search committee and board member Marc Williams further remarks, “Rebecca brings our members inspiration and commitment to help them succeed.”

    Lovell comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to be joining this dynamic organization. The professionalism and commitment of the board, and the opportunity to work with this vibrant community of members and partners, represent a dream opportunity for me and, more importantly, a confluence of stakeholders uniquely poised to add value to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest.”

    About the new Executive Director, serial entrepreneur (and Entrepreneur University speaker) Todd Humphrey notes, "Rebecca's knowledge of, and support for, our entrepreneurial community is a tremendous fit for NWEN leadership." Jane Park, founder and CEO of Alliance of Angels portfolio company Julep Nail Parlor, agrees. "Rebecca's efforts in helping startups and making connections have been invaluable. She is an incredibly positive force in the community.”

    About the Northwest Entrepreneur Network

    The Northwest Entrepreneur Network (www.nwen.org) is a non-profit organization that provides the learning, connections and inspiration entrepreneurs need to build companies with high growth potential. NWEN has more than 800 members and produces more than 40 events and programs each year focused on starting and running rapidly growing companies. The organization’s two major events include First Look Forum (March 24, 2009, at The Big Picture, Seattle); and Entrepreneur University, held each fall.

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    NWEN First Look Forum - March 24, 2009

    Don’t miss this premier opportunity to present your early stage company to a forum of qualified angel investors.

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    Date(s): March 24, 2009 (Tuesday)
    Time: 1:00 PM to 6:30 PM
    Location: The Big Picture Seattle
    URL: http://www.nwen.org/index.php?option=com_events&Itemid;=15&id;=201
    Description: Magnify your opportunities -- first impressions count!
    Apply by February 6 to make your pitch at NWEN’s inaugural First Look Forum.

    Don’t miss this premier opportunity to present your early stage company to a forum of qualified angel investors. Gain the practice, visibility and connections you need to make a great first impression and get a clear understanding on how to move your business forward.

    NWEN’s First Look Forums provide the next generation of emerging Northwest companies with the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to, and network with, an audience of the region’s top angels.

    NWEN is inviting applications from entrepreneurs in every product and service segment. A maximum of a dozen startups will be selected per forum, provided intensive coaching by a team of seasoned investors, and given the opportunity to present to a room of close to 100 angels.

    There are currently two forums planned for 2009, with the first scheduled for March 24. The application deadline to be considered for the March forum is Friday, February 6. Spots are limited, so entrepreneurs wishing to present should apply now.

    There is a $45 Application Fee for NWEN members, $90 for non-members. The Presenter Fee for those selected is $175 for NWEN members, $275 for non-members. All Presenters receive a complimentary copy of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Book of Lists (valued at $60) and an annual membership with Passport Unlimited (valued at $130).

    Who should apply:
    The First Look Forums are targeted at early stage entrepreneurs who haven’t previously presented and are in the pre-funding stage of their trajectory. If you have a business plan that is differentiated, that you are able to articulate, then this forum is for you.

    Entrepreneurs should be ready to:
    • Work through the investor presentation process
    • Connect with the people you need to know
    • Receive structured feedback and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and angels with
    operating experience to shape your pitch and business proposition
    • Present to an audience of early stage investors who are there to take a “First Look” at you

    Forum format:
    The half day forums will be held in a single track. Twelve companies will be selected to give their three minute pitches. The audience will then vote to determine the top five companies. These five companies will then make their 15 minute business plan presentations.

    The winning presenter from the forum will receive a prize package including offerings from Swift HR Solutions, Microsoft BizSpark, Puget Sound Business Journal, Keiretsu Forum, and Zino Society, in addition to incredibly valuable contacts, advice and connections. And maybe, just maybe, one or more will end up with a relationship that will help take their idea and their company to the next level.

    Key dates:
    February 6: Deadline for applying to present at the March 24 Forum
    February 23-27: Initial presentation and review to screening committee and coaches
    March 9: Announcement of 12 presenting companies
    March 10-17: Presenters meet with coaches
    March 24: First Look Forum

    If you’re an entrepreneur looking for relationships with and feedback from experienced angel investors there’s no better opportunity than NWEN’s First Look Forums.

    Contact: Northwest Entrepreneur Network
    425-564-5701
    info@nwen.org

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    ONAMI Greener Nano 2009 - March 2 to 3, 2009

    This two-day conference focuses on cutting edge research in greener nanomaterials design and production.

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    Date(s): March 2, 2009 (Monday) to March 3, 2009 (Tuesday)
    Time: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
    Location: Invitrogen Corporation - Eugene, Oregon
    URL: http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/greenernano2009/
    Description: ONAMI Greener Nano 2009
    03.02.09
    Invitrogen Corp., Eugene OR

    This two-day conference focuses on cutting edge research in greener nanomaterials design and production. The plenary sessions will include presentations from national and regional experts on greener design, greener production, nanoparticle characterization challenges (particularly at the bio/nano interface), and bio-distribution/tracking nanoparticles in living systems.

    The confirmed evening keynote speaker for Greener Nano 2009: Dr. Hilary Godwin, UCLA School of Public Health and the California Nano Systems Institute.

    The Conference:

    Technical sessions in which national and regional experts will discuss:

    Greener design
    Greener production
    Nanoparticle characterization challenges at the bio/nano interface
    Biodistribution/tracking nanoparticles in living systems

    Research and graduate student poster session

    Reception and tour at the brand-new, state-of-the-art Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories (ONAMI Signature Research Facility) at the nearby University of Oregon
    Contact: Carol Hanson
    541.346.4579
    carolhan@uoregon.edu

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    NWEN February Venture Breakfast: Robbie Cape, Cozi - February 13, 2009

    Robbie will take you through some of his experiences in founding Cozi four years ago and what some of the original plans were for the business and how those plans have changed as the economy started falling apart right in front of his eyes.

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    Date(s): February 13, 2009 (Friday)
    Time: 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM
    Location: Bellevue Harbor Club, Bellevue, Washington
    URL: http://www.nwen.org/index.php?option=com_events&Itemid;=15&id;=175

    Description: What you will learn:
    Robbie will take you through some of his experiences in founding Cozi four years ago and what some of the original plans were for the business and how those plans have changed as the economy started falling apart right in front of his eyes. He’ll examine some of the “accepted wisdom” commonly given to business leaders, and contrast that with what he’s tried to do in building Cozi. Robbie will also discuss what he thinks we all need to do in order to carry innovation through the kind of tough economic climate we, as technologists, find ourselves in currently. Given that every business is faced with unique circumstances, and that we, as entrepreneurs, have so much to learn from each other, Robbie will engage the audience to answer specific questions common to everyone.

    Robbie Cape
    Robbie is the CEO of Cozi; he co-founded the company in 2005. Robbie brings 15 years of experience designing software, building teams, and managing software businesses.

    Robbie’s 12 years “pre-Cozi” were spent at Microsoft. In his most recent experience at Microsoft, Robbie grew a new business to add annuity software service value to the Software Assurance subscription program. The majority of Robbie's experience is in the roles of program manager, product unit manager, and general manager of the Microsoft Money business. Robbie ushered the Money business to profitability with revenues of more than $65 million and put Microsoft Money on the map as a formidable competitor to Intuit's Quicken.

    Robbie has a deep love for building businesses, products, and teams that build high-quality, simple software consistently and on time. Robbie holds a B.A. in Science and Engineering from Princeton University. He lives in the suburbs of Seattle with his wife, Bonnie, and their three children, Benjamin, Noah, and Dalia.

    Cost:
    Regular Registration: $25 for members, $40 for non-members.
    After February 9: $30 for members, $45 for non-members
    Members, bring a friend for the member price!

    Contact: Northwest Entrepreneur Network
    425-564-5701
    info@nwen.org

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    Gregoire appoints Larry Williams as interim CTED director

    Gov. Chris Gregoire has named Larry Williams as the interim director for the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) effective January 12, 2009. Williams has served as assistant director responsible for the International Trade and Economic Development Division for the past three years and has been an executive manager at CTED for eight years.

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    Williams fills the vacancy left by Juli Wilkerson while a national search is conducted for a permanent replacement. Wilkerson is retiring after a long public service career in state and local government.

    Williams came to Washington State from the North Carolina Department of Commerce in 2001. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University.

    CTED is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit www.cted.wa.gov.

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    Washington ranks #1 for starting a business

    U.S. News & World Report places Washington at the top of the list of seven states friendly to entrepreneurs starting businesses. U.S. News bases its ranking on two recent studies: The 2008 New State Economy Index and the Small Business Survival Index 2008. "Washington is first among the states in steps toward energy efficiency and using more alternative-energy sources," says U.S. News, and also notes Washington's strong manufacturing sector and low taxes.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the article in U.S. News & World Report
  • The 2008 State New Economy Index from the ITIF

  • Small Business Survival Index 2008 from the SBE Council


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    >> Start a discussion on this topic
    Southwest Washington and the New Economy

    With Washington state ranking high in The 2008 State New Economy Index, the Vancouver Business Journal explores Southwest Washington's fit in the mix.

    The VBJ interviews WTC Executive Director Lee Cheatham, WSU Vancouver Chancellor Hal Dengerink, Washington Economic Development Commission Director Egils Milbergs and others about innovative companies (e.g. nLIGHT, RS Medical, Insitu, Mapwith.US), workforce resources and technology capacity that will keep Southwest Washington well positioned in an Innovation Economy.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the article in Vancouver Business Journal
  • The 2008 State New Economy Index from the ITIF

    Related WTC links:

  • nLIGHT Photonics is a WTC client
  • RS Medical is a WTC client
  • Insitu is a WTC client

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    Angel investing declined 10 percent in 2008

    Angel group leaders report in a recent survey by the Angel Capital Association (ACA) that investments decreased in 2008 and will decline as well in 2009 compared to 2007 due to the current recession. However, some angel groups have increased their investment activity this year and believe they will make additional investments in 2009 as new opportunities arise from difficult economic conditions.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the ACA press release

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  • >> Start a discussion on this topic
    Evergreen Film and Website Launched

    Evergreen: The Washington Clean Tech Story features more than forty conversations with clean tech leaders in the state of Washington including the Governor, mayors, entrepreneurs and green collar job holders. The film was produced by the Washington Clean Technology Alliance and Seattle’s More Dust Than Digital Films.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Visit Evergreenfilm.org

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    Life Sciences Discovery Fund Announces 2009 Grant Competition

    The LSDF funding opportunities and amounts include a project grant competition of up to $8 million in total awards, a program grant competition of up to $20 million in total awards and, new in 2009, two commercialization grant competitions of up to $750,000 per round.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Visit the Life Sciences Discovery Fund site

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    Washington entrepreneurs share tips for start-up success

    Scott Keeney of Vancouver's nLIGHT, Christina Lomasney of Seattle start-up Modumetal, Gerry Langeler of Kirkland's OVP Venture Partners, and Carolyn Brennan of University of Washington Bothell discuss how to get traction in the marketplace in an article from The Columbian.

    Read the article from The Columbian

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    UW's "bionic" contact lens named a best invention by TIME

    A prototype 'bionic' contact lens manufactured at WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory by Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering, has been named to TIME's Best Inventions of 2008.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at TIME
  • Learn more about the technology at University of Washington News

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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.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in news from Columbia Basin College

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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.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in Northwest Business Monthly

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  • Milbergs Appointed as Washington's EDC Head

    Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Egils Milbergs director of the newly formed Economic Development Commission. Milbergs was selected through a joint process involving the governor and the Economic Development Commission.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the Governor's press release

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  • UW nano research doubles efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells

    Using an innovative clumping approach to surface design, A UW team led by Guozhong Cao, a professor of materials science and engineering, doubled the efficiency of zinc oxide based dye-sensitized solar cells. The team plans to transfer the concept to titanium oxide.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at UWNews.org

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  • Japan’s National Institute of Materials Science opens an office at UW

    The NIMS Overseas Operations Office is the first office outside of Japan established by a Japanese national laboratory. NIMS partnership with UW will facilitate collaboration with U.S. companies through the spin-off of research efforts.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more from the UW College of Engineering

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  • Due August 15, 2008: Community applications for IPZ designation

    Communities are invited to apply for designation as an Innovation Partnership Zone. Selected communities become eligible for certain state financial programs and other benefits.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at cted.wa.gov

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    New federal funding for monitoring, inspection technologies for public infrastructure

    The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that it is seeking proposals for high-risk research projects to develop innovative technologies for inspecting, monitoring and evaluating critical components of the nation's roadways, bridges, and drinking and wastewater systems. Proposals due Sept. 4, 2008. There will be a proposer's conference in Portland, Ore. on July 17.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at www.nist.gov/tip

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  • Washington tech sector impact report

    The Technology Alliance has issued a comprehensive report: The Economic Impact of Technology-Based Industries in Washington State. The report, by William B. Beyers of the UW Department of Geography, examines the impacts of Washington’s tech sector employment and R&D; activity.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Visit the Technology Alliance for the report

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  • Blogs on technology and economic development

    In So What?, Mike Schwenk of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discusses the impact of technology investment. John Gardner of WSU tackles topics of entrepreneurship and economic development in his blog.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Visit So What?
  • Visit John Gardner's Blog

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  • Take a Visual Trip into the Next Washington

    Next Washington, Washington's economic development strategy, includes numerous organizations and programs partnering to deliver services. An interactive, visual representation of the strategy has been produced by the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development and the Association of Washington Cities.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • View the poster

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  • SEMATECH Starts Nanoimprint Lithography Effort

    SEMATECH, the international consortium for basic research into semiconductor manufacturing, has announced the start of a nanoimprint lithography effort in 2008. This is a significant boost of that technology, which replaces expensive optics, as currently used in semiconductor chip manufacturing, by a simple stamping procedure. Washington Technology Center, with the support of DARPA, has recently acquired the first nanoimprinting tool in a public user facility in the Northwest.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in EE Times

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  • Innovation Partnership Zones will spur economic development

    Governor Gregoire announced the designation of 11 Innovation Partnership Zones, geographic areas that will promote and develop the state’s regional economies. Washington Technology Center will help support these communities as part of their overall development strategy.

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    Communities designated as Innovation Partnership Zones bring together businesses, researchers and training in cooperative efforts to develop new commercially-viable products and jobs. View Governor Gregoire's press release for a list of Innovation Partnership Zone designees.

    "Each of these communities is committing to a long term development program," says Lee Cheatham, Executive Director of Washington Technology Center. "Washington Technology Center can support their development plans. We afford highly-leveraged access to research institutions, to early-stage funding and access to key customers or partners that will be key to the success of these zones."

    Washington Technology Center has existing strong relationships with Vancouver and TriCities -- two communities designated as Innovation Partnership Zones.

    In Vancouver, Washington Technology Center has developed a strong relationship with the regional semiconductor industry and the emerging research capability at Washington State University-Vancouver. Recently, more than $1 million in state and federal funds were committed to help design a semiconductor user facility that will help small companies access the resources they need.

    Washington Technology Center has increased support to TriCities and Eastern Washington through a partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Energy Northwest. In 2006, a joint operating agreement with Energy Northwest established a staff person to serve as Washington Technology Center's Outreach Manager for Eastern Washington and as Director of the Applied Process Engineering Laboratory (APEL), a technology business start-up center located in Richland.

    Areas designated as Innovation Partnership Zones receive special access to state resources such as funding. It is the goal of Washington state to further the success of these regional economies.

    Washington Technology Center will spend time with the organizations and companies in these new Innovation Partnership Zones. According to Cheatham, "We will work to understand the challenges these communities face; we will encourage the entrepreneurs in these communities to participate in our programs, and others."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read Governor Gregoire's press release

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  • Life Sciences Discovery Fund selects six awardees in inaugural grant round

    UW researcher Daniel Chiu — a Washington Technology Center past award winner — is among the winning researchers proposing novel uses of technology to improve health care.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the Life Sciences Discovery Fund press release

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  • Bellingham Angel Group has funded seven companies

    The group's 35 investors have funded Audience-Central, Local Cents, Mail Channels, MicroGREEN Polymers, Novinium, Sweet Power and Yapta.

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    UW Professor Maynard Olson wins $500,000 genetics prize

    Olson, of the University of Washington Genome Center, conducts research from the Washington Technology Center building in Seattle.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • More in Seattle Times

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  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference - Sept. 10-12, 2007

    The 2007 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference in Portland will focus on nanotechnology development.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more

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  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference - Sept. 10-12, 2007

    The 2007 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference in Portland will focus on nanotechnology development.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference site

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  • Bookmark this! ChooseWashington.com

    Searching for information about doing business in Washington? Check out the ChooseWashington.com Web site. The site, managed by the Business and Project Development team within the Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development, is part of CTED's mission to help companies start-up, grow and operate in Washington. True to its compelling tagline, "Innovation is in our Nature," the site offers a wealth of information about Washington's economic landscape including general data, facts about key industries, and links to helpful resources. So, add it to your favorites and pass that URL along to anyone you know who's considering starting up a business in Washington or relocating to the area.

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    Forensic Science: Technology unites with chemistry to solve crime

    Guest article
    By Dr. Peter Bilous, Eastern Washington University

    We have all seen the "CSI" dramas on television – with crime fighting "super heroes" dashing from the streets to the labs, using numerous gadgets along the way, to solve crime. However, in reality, forensic scientists are not routinely required to attend crime scenes. Instead, they are hard at work in the lab, applying the latest technologies and chemistry principals to evaluate evidence from the crime scene.

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    Forensic scientists are called upon to answer the "who, what, when and where" of crimes. Their training enables them to identify unknown substances such as drugs; link unsolved crimes together through DNA and fingerprint databases; establish associations between victims and suspects (through hair, fiber, fingerprint or DNA evidence); and provide investigative leads (linking types of weapons that fire particular bullets or types of vehicles that leave paint chip evidence at hit-and-run scenes).

    Here are some of the processes and technologies used to answer these questions.

    Forensic scientists utilize a set of chemical and biochemical tests, as well as various light-based instruments, to locate physical evidence. Portable high-intensity light sources that are used by crime scene investigators to locate fingerprints are also used by forensic scientists in the laboratory to find forensic evidence such as carpet fibers or body fluid stains. Once located, evidence is classified by group or class of compounds and/or identified by chemical nature to determine the types of screening and identification tests that will be used.

    Depending on the nature of the crime being investigated, forensic scientists may need to look for chemical evidence – drugs, poisons, paint chips, fibers and explosive residues. Chemical-based screening tests and/or microscopic examinations are used to classify materials. Physical properties such as surface features, colors, melting points and various optical properties can be helpful in classifying fibers, drugs, paint chips or soil samples.

    Micro-spectrophotometers are used to determine light absorption properties of trace quantities of physical evidence. Identification may require the use of chromatography to separate the components of a mixture followed by instrumental methods of analysis such as FTIR-spectrophotometry or mass spectrometry to determine the chemical composition of evidence. Raman spectroscopy, based on the light scattering properties of the sample being examined, is particularly useful for identifying pigments, dyes, fibers, drugs and minerals.

    Perpetrators of crimes may leave behind biological evidence, including blood, semen, saliva or skin cells. Various color-based chemical screening tests are employed to tentatively identify biological material. Identification tests include microcrystal tests (e.g., the Takayama microcrystal test for blood) or immuno-chromatographic tests that detect the presence of hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells.

    Forensic DNA typing analysis – involving the amplification (copying) of a set of genetic markers that exist in many forms within the human population – are then conducted on the biological materials to determine the donor source. The polymorphic nature of these markers provides a means to discriminate between individuals.

    With the increased application of science and technology to solve crime – and all of that television promotion – it's no surprise that forensic science is growing in career popularity.

    Eastern Washington University's forensics program, started in 2003, is popular with students. EWU is fortunate to have a Washington State Patrol Regional Crime Lab located right on campus. This, in addition to other on-campus labs, gives students a unique opportunity to interact with seasoned professionals, research actual cases and solve mock crimes.

    After a recent community presentation, I had a junior high school student approach me to ask detailed questions about forensic science. It reminded me that all of those television dramas aren't so bad after all if they are attracting youth to new technologies that work hand-in-hand with good old chemistry principals – all for a very good social cause.

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    Washington State Patrol Regional Crime Laboratory located at the Eastern Washington University

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    Peter Bilous, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Eastern Washington University.Related external links (will open a new window):

  • EWU program in forensic chemistry

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  • UW iSchool Offers Programs in Information Management

    Guest Column
    In today's hyper-competitive and turbulent environments, the very essence of an organization is determined by how information is managed and leveraged. The Information School (iSchool) of the University of Washington continues to expand professional opportunities in the area of Information Management.

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    The iSchool already offers the Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM), both as a full-time option (Day MSIM) and as a part-time option (Executive MSIM) for working professionals. Recent developments for the iSchool include the establishment of the Institute for Innovation in Information Management, and summer courses in Knowledge Management and Information Architecture.

    In order to stay competitive, an organization must find novel ways to engage its information and knowledge resources through innovation in information management. The Institute for Innovation in Information Management (I3M) is chartered with the mission to be the premier research institute that will help organizations attain agility and competitive successes by managing their most vital assets—information and knowledge. The Institute undertakes research projects shaped by the interests of the research partners and expertise of I3M faculty associates. Discussion at the inaugural meeting of the Institute centered on the theme of Business Continuity, with a specific emphasis on discovering enablers and barriers to transfer of knowledge within communities of practice to support business strategy and drivers.

    The Institute sponsored a one-day symposium in April focused around "Knowledge Management in Turbulent Times." Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the Institute's partners, presented research undertaken in this area in conjunction with the iSchool. The research examines characteristics of their Practice Area Networks to find indicators of success in moving knowledge across the organization to meet business objectives. The next I3M is set for October 11, 2006. For more information, visit http://depts.washington.edu/iiim/.

    The iSchool also has an upcoming course in Information Architecture.

    Information Architecture Summer Workshop
    September 11 - 15, 2006
    This five-day intensive "Information Architecture Summer Workshop covers the key elements of IA—understanding users’ information needs, building architectural frameworks to store information effectively, proper organizing and labeling of information for improved navigation and search, and perceiving opportunities where information architecture can increase business value. Each of these areas will be explored through lectures, interactive exercises and discussion led by University faculty and industry experts.

    Complete details and registration information is available at Info Architecture.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • I3M
  • Info Architecture

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  • Protecting Intellectual Property Rights is Vital in Joint Development Projects

    Sponsored Guest Column by Brett Brett A. Hertzberg and Gina Vogel Culbert of Merchant & Gould

    The old adage that you can't go it alone is particularly true with innovative technologies. The costs required to develop a new technology can be considerable. Joint development projects –- ones that pair companies with academic researchers or industrial partners –- can bring development costs under control and decrease the financial risk of entering into new technology markets. The Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Lab Facility is one example of a research and development facility which partners with both industry and academia in the field of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).

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    Participation in a joint development project does bring up the issue of Intellectual Property (IP) ownership. It's important to clearly understand what constitutes IP and how to protect it. Failure to establish rights can lead to costly legal actions, as well as the inability to enforce IP rights. Knowing a few basics can help ensure that joint development projects result in innovation, not litigation.

    Patent Ownership A patent creates a right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention for a limited period of time. Initial ownership of patent rights vests in the "inventor." Joint inventors acquire equal, undivided interests in a patent, and may use or authorize others to practice the patent without accounting to the other inventors.

    Ownership rights for patents and patent applications can be assigned in writing. Employers typically require employees to assign patent rights to any inventions developed within the scope of employment. In a joint development project, contracts and assignments should cover who has what patent rights. Because an assignment has consequences relating to who can enforce the patent and what damages the owner can collect, it is important to fully evaluate the patent's potential uses, and to craft assignment agreements properly and to the correct entity.

    Copyright Ownership
    Joint development projects often produce written materials that may be subject to copyright. Ownership of the copyright vests in the "author" of the work. Joint authors may each exercise the rights under the copyright, subject to an accounting to the others.

    Generally, an employer is considered the "author" for a work prepared by an employee within the scope of their employment. Specially commissioned works are owned by the person or entity that commissioned the work. Copyright rights can be assigned or licensed by written agreement. A clear understanding of the parties' relative contributions to a work and a written agreement regarding ownership is essential in any joint project.

    Open source and Standards Bodies
    The use of open source code in software, as well as participation in standards bodies also implicates IP ownership rights. Some open source agreements and some standards groups require full assignment of all IP rights into the open source consortium or standards group. Courts may also imply assignment of IP rights absent a written agreement. All of this has implications for enforceability of IP.

    In any project in which technology is jointly developed, written agreements should be prepared to address IP ownership issues. Pay special attention to the "small print" in standard contracts and make sure the contract fits the parties' intent and your future business model. If it doesn't, negotiate the necessary changes.

    Authors Brett A. Hertzberg, a patent attorney, and Gina Vogel Culbert, a litigator, are attorneys with the intellectual property firm of Merchant & Gould in its Seattle office.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Merchant & Gould

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  • UW iSchool Offers Programs in Information Management

    Sponsored Guest Column by UW iSchool

    In today's hyper-competitive and turbulent environments, the very essence of an organization is determined by how information is managed and leveraged. The Information School (iSchool) of the University of Washington continues to expand professional opportunities in the area of Information Management.

    - more in full post -- continued below -

    The iSchool already offers the Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM), both as a full-time option (Day MSIM) and as a part-time option (Executive MSIM) for working professionals who attend classes on Friday evenings and during the day on Saturdays. Recent developments for the iSchool include the establishment of the Institute for Innovation in Information Management, and upcoming summer offerings in the areas of Knowledge Management and Information Architecture.

    In order to stay competitive, an organization must find novel ways to engage its information and knowledge resources through innovation in information management. The Institute for Innovation in Information Management (I3M) is chartered with the mission to be the premier research institute that will help organizations attain agility and competitive successes by managing their most vital assets -- information and knowledge. The Institute undertakes research projects shaped by the interests of the research partners and expertise of I3M faculty associates. Discussion at the inaugural meeting of the Institute centered on the theme of Business Continuity, with a specific emphasis on discovering enablers and barriers to transfer of knowledge within communities of practice to support business strategy and drivers.

    The Institute sponsored a 1-day symposium at the beginning of April focused around "Knowledge Management in Turbulent Times." Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the Institute's partners, presented research undertaken in this area in conjunction with the iSchool. The research examines characteristics of their Practice Area Networks to find indicators of success in moving knowledge across the organization to meet business objectives.

    The iSchool is also offering opportunities this summer to study Knowledge Management and Information Architecture.

    Knowledge Management: Conceptual Foundations and Current Best Practices
    June 12-16, 2006
    The institute is a one-week intensive course that introduces participants to the conceptual foundations and current best practices in KM. The program is designed for professionals who have been identified by their organizations as individuals who are likely to have more strategic technical or managerial responsibilities within the next two to four years. Most participants will have work experience that may range from business analysts, computer programmers, and accountants to other roles that involve managing information.

    Information Architecture Summer Workshop
    September 11 - 15, 2006
    This five-day intensive workshop covers the key elements of IA –understanding users' information needs, building architectural frameworks to store information effectively, proper organizing and labeling of information for improved navigation and search, and perceiving opportunities where information architecture can increase business value. Each of these areas will be explored through lectures, interactive exercises and discussion led by University faculty and industry experts.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • UW iSchool

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  • Regional Publication Keeps West Coast Readers Apprised of Growing Trends in Ecological Innovation

    Sponsored Guest Column by Sustainble Industries Journal

    A large and growing percentage of consumers, businesses and governments are asking questions about companies' environmental and social practices. Before purchasing a product or service, buyers increasingly want to know how a company's products impact human and environmental health. This trend creates significant opportunity for companies to capitalize on this demand. It also increases the risk for companies who ignore it.

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    Sustainable Industries Journal (SIJ), the leading business magazine following sustainable business trends along the West Coast, reports on how profits can be derived from ecological innovation. Renewable energy, green building, sustainable farming, recycled markets–what opportunities for innovation and growth do they present? SIJ asks these questions through in-depth articles and industry analysis every month.

    Each month SIJ explores a new focus such as Clean Energy, Organic Food, Real Estate, Recycling, Green Building Products, Education, and Branding, to name a few. SIJ reports on these industries and compiles lists ranking the top companies on the West Coast within each of these sectors. These lists are published individually in each issue and in the Sustainable Industries Overview.

    SIJ has a committed following of business and public sector innovators. The SIJ reader is someone who does not just blindly accept the way things have been done in the past, but someone who is always striving to do better, to be more competitive, and to try new things. Business people read SIJ and ask themselves how they can capitalize on this trend called "sustainability" to create competitive advantage for their companies. Entrepreneurs are reading SIJ and asking themselves how they can create innovative new products and bring them successfully to market. Consumers are reading SIJ and asking themselves how they can better meet their personal goals of sustainability through their consumption habits.

    If you want to learn how sustainable business practices and innovations are changing the economy, hear what the leading business minds have to say, and discover the best new green products on the market, consider a subscription to Sustainable Industries Journal.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Sustainable Industries Journal

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  • Regional Collaboration Helps Northwest Become a Power Player in Energy Innovation

    The concept of "energy innovation" inevitably conjures up images of cutting-edge conservationism and new energy sources such as biomass, wind power, and hydrogen fuel.

    Much in the way that nanotechnology is making waves, renewable and smart energy are causing a buzz in the marketplace. But what is being done to harness this potential and transition these technologies from bright ideas into real-world applications?

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    The average timeframe for a new technology to enter the market is seven years. Most alternative energies won't experience market penetration until 2020. However, the demand for more efficient energy is reaching epic urgency.

    In 2005, the federal government initiated the Energy Policy Act, and 22 states now have renewable energy portfolio standards or mandates in place. The only way to ensure supply meets demand is to speed up the cycle and help companies more rapidly develop and introduce new technologies to market

    The Northwest is ripe for emergence as an energy "power block." It has the highest concentrations of hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar power in the nation. Washington, Oregon and Idaho have more than 70 percent of their electricity provided by renewable energy. The region also has unparalleled reputations in environmental consciousness and entrepreneurial culture making it a model breeding ground for scientific breakthroughs in renewable and smart energy.

    The Northwest Energy Technology Collaborative (NWETC), a regional alliance of five U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, is working to leverage this natural aptitude and position the Northwest as a world leader in energy innovation. The vision behind NWETC is that by creating a regional partnership that serves as a central hub for identifying and capitalizing on new energy opportunities, companies stand a greater chance of achieving commercial success.

    Building a Regional Brand
    A number of U.S. states are making plays for energy markets. A few, such as California, Connecticut and Texas, are investing millions in energy industry development. This rush to capture market share is stirring up state-to-state rivalry, providing even greater appeal to brand the Northwest as a diverse, energy-rich region in order to gain competitive advantage and build awareness around available energy technologies and commercial-ready products.

    NWETC has the advantage of being the only regional effort to develop and market an energy industry power block. Each state and province in the Northwest has independent energy assets. Individually, they stand to capture a small market share. Collectively, they become a dominant leader in new energy solutions. One example is the re-direction of the region's existing strengths in software and semiconductors to the smart energy market, already valued at $15 billion worldwide. Developing new backend solutions and advanced materials for grid efficiency will only increase the Northwest's already growing share in this market, currently estimated at $2 billion.

    Access to Capital
    Readily available funding is a critical element in ensuring a new business venture makes the leap from concept to commercial offering. NWETC identifies financial incentives offered by state, federal and private utilities, and connects them to entrepreneurial energy companies. These opportunities represent hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for energy technology research and development. NWETC's website lists available private and public grants, making it easier for companies to identify and compete for these financial awards.

    Seattle has the highest private investment activity related to energy funding in the U.S., but it isn't enough to meet the needs of this fast-growing sector. NWETC is working to create new funding sources for energy.

    Energy Venture Northwest, a venture capital forum, helps energy start-ups access regional equity capital. Through this forum, investors have an opportunity to support some of the Northwest's most promising energy offerings. Entrepreneurs get the opportunity to pitch their ideas before venture firms with a reputation for financing energy-related businesses. Now entering its third year, Energy Venture Northwest has helped 15 companies polish their presentations skills and present to venture firms for funding. Many of these companies have progressed to national venture forums such as CleanTech and Clean Energy Venture.

    Northwest Energy Angels, a new program for 2006, is an initiative to build a regional network of angel investors who have interest in, and experience with, energy-related technologies and businesses. Creating an energy-focused angel investor network provides a more direct and readily-available source of seed funding for companies entering the market space, as well as identifying a talent pool of industry-savvy mentors and consultants.

    Market Penetration
    Next to funding, market entry is the biggest challenge facing energy technology companies. The Northwest Energy Technology Showcase (NETS) is an annual program that allows a select group of energy innovators to present their products and services to regional energy buyers. To date, 24 companies have participated in the NETS program with great success.

    NWETC's Regional Test Bed connects energy innovators with major utilities as means to test products in the field. One of the largest roadblocks facing a company entering the field testing stage is finding a location and utility willing to work with them in a timely manner. The Regional Test Bed aims to improve this collaboration and turn-around time.

    Industry Partnerships
    Collaboration is another key principle of NWETC's regional commercialization strategy. The Bio 49 Degrees Project (Bio49) is a perfect example. Bio49 is a cross-border initiative to reduce diesel emissions from utility trucks by switching to biodiesel fuel. This project involved multiple stakeholders from Washington and British Columbia and received grant support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. What makes Bio49 work is the collective investment of its partners. Without the ability to identify funding and field trial partners through NWETC, this project would not be a reality.

    Just as small businesses band together through cooperatives to leverage their buying and selling power, NWETC has created a regional alliance that will operate as an industry trading block. This regional alliance is a testament to the sum equaling more than the parts. Adopting a collaborative approach to branding, funding, and resource management is transforming the Northwest from a geographic area with energy technology potential to a powerful force in the economic landscape of energy innovation.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Northwest Energy Angels

    Related WTC links:

  • NWETC.com

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  • Wireless Security -- Are you Safe?

    Sponsored Guest Article by Dr. John Shovic, Eastern Washington University

    Prowlers no longer have to enter your home or business to steal your valuables. Many of today's thieves -- or "coyotes" as Dr. John Shovic of Eastern Washington University calls them -- can simply sit outside your home or business and steal your email, security codes and personal information without setting foot on your premises.

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    Case in point, one of Shovic's students booted up his wireless computer in a large Western airport to find that service kiosks were sending credit cards, names and PIN numbers in the CLEAR.

    He was so shocked, he immediately deleted his data, shutdown his computer and left the area. The student could literally watch a person at a kiosk and view all of his or her personal information in real time.

    Cybersecurity is no small issue: 10 to 15 new viruses are detected every day and most intrusions are from the "inside." Total spending on computer security issues continues to increase every year as companies become more dependent on the Internet and networking in general.

    So what can we do? Well, perhaps consider hiring a team of Shovic's students.

    Shovic's students are learning to think like hackers in order to find every possible solution to stop wireless intruders.

    He offers an "A" to any student who can successfully plant a virus in his system during the last week of class -- making him a nervous wreck for finals week. From fake invoices to forgery, you can start to imagine the creative approaches students have taken.

    At the end of the quarter, Shovic divides his class into two teams to wage a cyber war on one another. The battle rages late into the night, with the ultimate winner being the team that is best able to destroy the other team's firewalls, steal their data, infect them with viruses and paralyze their services as well as defending their own systems from attack. (Don't worry, he also makes students thoroughly aware of the legal penalties involved in waging such attacks in the real world.)

    To hear more stories involving "cyber wars" and "war drives" as well as expert solutions, attend Dr. Shovic's luncheon presentation on April 7 at the Bellevue Doubletree Hotel. There will also be a substantial Q&A; session for attendees to garner advice on specific issues. The event is also an opportunity for individuals to meet Eastern Washington University's new president, Rodolfo Arévalo.

    About Dr. John Shovic
    Dr. Shovic is a professor of cybersecurity at Eastern Washington University and a successful entrepreneur. He is cofounder of a computer security consulting company (MiloCreek), a software network security company (TriGeo Network Security), a data solutions company (AHA), a water treatment technology company (Blue Water Technologies) and a bank (bankCDA).

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    Selling to the Government -- A Compliance Checklist

    Sponsored Guest Article by William A. Shook, Partner, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP

    The U.S. Government can be a great customer for Washington businesses and nonprofits. However, as with any public sector customer, unique requirements and contract terms apply. Careful and thoughtful consideration of, and compliance with, these unique terms will help ensure a mutuality beneficial contractual relationship.

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    Although not a comprehensive list, Washington Technology Center customers and partners that currently are selling or want to sell goods and services to the Government should examine their business practices with regards to the following areas:

    Intellectual Property -- Entities must identify prior to contracting with the government the intellectual property that was developed with non-government funds and must appropriately "mark" restricted rights or limited rights technical data. After-the-fact identification can be extremely difficult and the burden shifts to the contractor to prove its case.

    Nondiscrimination Requirements -- Includes Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action Plans, and Accessible Products for the Disabled. Requires filing of annual reports.

    Country Preference Laws -- Includes Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act. Requires that preference for American-made products for smaller dollar procurements and prohibits the purchase in larger dollar procurements of products manufactured in countries that do not participate in the public procurement portion of the World Trade Organization.

    Price Negotiation -- The establishment of a "fair and reasonable" price for products and services can include providing the government with evidence of catalog pricing, competitive pricing, or cost data which must always be accurate and in some instances both current and complete.

    Gifts and Gratuities -- Government employees are prohibited from accepting anything of value (in excess of $20) from entities seeking to do business with the government. Entities are prohibited from offering anything of value to a government employee in exchange for favorable treatment.

    "Prompt" Payment -- Although the government has a reputation for being a slow pay, the Prompt Payment Act requires payment within 30 days of the submission of a "proper" invoice. Failure to receive payment can result in interest being owed. Entities should follow Prompt Payment Act procedures precisely so that the government has no excuse for late payments and any late payments should be addressed immediately.

    Record-Keeping Requirements -- When selling services by the hour, entities must keep very accurate and verifiable records for the time charged by each employee. In addition, contract records should be maintained for three years after final payment on a contract.

    Security Clearances -- For contractors involved in classified work, careful attention to maintaining a facility clearance and clearance for personnel is a must. Entities must have a well-trained facility clearance officer knowledgeable of required duties.

    With a bit of advance planning and attention to "boiler plate" clauses, contracting with the government can be an important and profitable portion of any business plan.

    About William Shook
    Bill Shook, co-author of the casebook Government Contract Law, heads Preston Gates & Ellis LLP's Government Contracts, Construction and Procurement Policy practice group.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Preston Gates & Ellis LLP

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  • UW Information School introduces new Masters of Science in Information Management Degree Program

    Sponsored Guest Article by UW iSchool

    A new full-time option for a master's degree in Information Management, geared toward traditional students interested in opening new career possibilities in information fields, is the most recent addition at the University of Washington's Information School (iSchool).

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    Launched in September 2005, the Day Master of Science in Information Management (Day MSIM) program is aimed at students interested in all aspects of information management, coming from almost any undergraduate degree program. The Executive MSIM option (started several years ago) is designed for working professionals who have prior experience in an information field. Executive MSIM classes are held Friday evenings and during the day on Saturdays, allowing students to bring their new-found knowledge immediately into the workplace.

    The Day MSIM program has the same core curriculum as the part-time Executive MSIM program, but requires additional credits for graduation.

    "Because the Executive program is targeted at working professionals with seven to ten years of experience, we assume those students have obtained knowledge from their working life and require fewer credits for graduation," explains MSIM program chair Michael Crandall. "The Day program offers more opportunity for students to build a broader knowledge base through electives and a required internship program."

    As program chair, Crandall's goal is to make MSIM the most sought-after program for information management. "I would hope that over the next few years, we will see our students becoming leaders in this field, both in practical settings and in the research arena, and pointing back to our program as a reason for their success," he says. "A strong internship program and research activities will bring us closer to the community."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at UW Information School

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  • Unleashing the Hidden Tax Benefits of R&D;

    Sponsored Guest Article by Darin Jensen, Clark Nuber

    Every company pushing the frontiers of technology should take full advantage of research and development tax credits and exemptions. Seemingly routine expenses may be eligible for these tax benefits, which can offset a current tax liability dollar for dollar or create a refund of taxes already paid.

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    Many of our clients have found the R&D; programs to be a hidden and immediate source of cash. They can significantly reduce current, future, and past years' federal and state tax liabilities.

    You may be eligible and not realize it. Recent changes in federal law have made the R&D; credit available to a much wider variety of companies. And at the state level, since the mid-1990s Washington has offered an attractive combination of benefits and exemptions: a B&O; credit for qualifying expenses, a sales tax exemption for the equipment of manufacturers that engage in R&D;, and a sales tax exemption for either equipment or facilities used purely for R&D.;

    Your company's R&D; eligibility doesn't have to be obvious -- like discovering a cure for disease or a breakthrough formula. Your company simply could have developed an improved manufacturing process or a new product such as a better pair of weed clippers. Your company can qualify for credits even if it didn't actually perform the research or development but instead paid another company or university to conduct it.

    A company usually can claim the federal credit for the current year plus the prior three years, filing amended tax returns to obtain back credits. Often the eligible costs already have been identified in the tax return, and it is a matter of making an election to "convert" these expenses into tax credits. If your company is showing a federal net operating loss, federal R&D; credits can be carried forward until they are useful, up to 20 years in the future. State credits and exemptions can be claimed for the current year, and refunds may be received for overlooked credits and exemptions for the four prior calendar years.

    The federal credit is currently effective for research expenses paid or incurred before Dec. 31, 2005. However, it's possible that Congress will once again extend it or make the credit permanent. The state B&O; tax credit was recently extended to Dec. 31, 2014 as was the state sales tax exemption for R&D; equipment and facilities of pure research organizations. The sales tax exemption program for manufacturers' R&D; equipment is permanent with no expiration date.

    Too often, technology startup companies are unaware of tax savings available to them through a variety of R&D; programs. Documentation is important, and so is the advice of a knowledgeable tax professional. If your tax adviser doesn't bring up the subject of the R&D; programs, be sure to ask, and consider looking for a professional more in tune with the technology industry.

    Darin Jensen, J.D., LL.M., a senior associate in the tax practice at Clark Nuber in Bellevue, works with commercial and nonprofit life sciences enterprises. Clark Nuber is rated one of the nation's top 25 accounting firms by Inside Public Accounting.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Clark Nuber

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  • WTC Microfab Lab Partners with NSCC to Launch State's First Nanotech Degree Program

    North Seattle Community College (NSCC) has received approval from the state board to become the first college in the state to offer an Associate of Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T) degree in Nanotechnology, an emerging multi-disciplinary field that is expected to impact hundreds of thousands of jobs in the economy over the next 15 years. The program makes its debut September 26 with NANO101. WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory plays a key role by providing students with "hands-on experience" through access to the lab's clean room environment for laboratory sessions.

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    The new nanotech degree program was spurred by the increased interest and activity surrounding the breakthrough capabilities enabled by imaging, fabrication and engineering at the molecular scale. The Washington Technology Center launched the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative last year to help assure that Washington's economy is prepared and nano-ready to be a competitive player in research and commercialization as these technologies start to find solid business applications.

    Numerous companies are currently developing incredible new applications for nanotechnology. There is no doubt there will be a need for a manufacturing workforce skilled in nano in the very new future. WTC has helped support many nano companies through its research facilities, and hopes to play a key role in connecting the industrial community with the NSCC program through internships and providing access to the WTC facility for students.

    NSCC's 90-credit degree will prepare graduates for entry-level technician positions in the nano/micro-fabrication industry and related manufacturing industries. Cross-disciplinary in nature, the program will combine elements of materials science, chemistry, biology and physics, electronics and engineering. Through WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory, students will be exposed to clean room procedures including an understanding of process fundamentals and maintenance principles of nano/micro fabrication and characterization equipment. The multidisciplinary design of this program will provide graduates with the skills to enter a wide range of materials-based industries, such as aerospace, electronics, life sciences, transportation, and pharmaceuticals. Another key partner is the University of Washington Center for Nanotechnology, which is providing resources for faculty professional development.

    As Washington companies adopt nano-and micro-scale production techniques, tools, equipment, and concepts, they will need workers who are adaptable, savvy and up-to-date on this technology. WTC has published a Business Directory showing already at least 20 firms in Washington actively working with nanomaterials or advanced micro-mechanical systems (MEMS). This collaborative program between WTC, North Seattle Community College, and other partners is a critical first step in developing this nano-ready workforce.

    WTC, UW and NSCC are working to establish nanotechnology education from K-12 through bachelor and graduate degrees. This is one of the key agendas under the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative. This coalition of educational institutions would include University of Washington, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, 18 community and technical colleges, and Seattle Public Schools.

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    WSU Vancouver looks to help businesses achieve higher product marketing success

    Sponsored Guest Article by Joseph A. Cote, Washington State University-Vancouver

    Innovation has proven to be a critical factor in business creation and business growth. Yet, 85 percent of new product introductions fail. A major contribution to this high failure rate is poor marketing planning prior to product introduction. Too frequently companies see problems in an existing product, design a new product that fixes the problems, and then assumes the market will readily accept the new product.

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    However, it takes more than just product performance to encourage market adoption. The value of the improved product must be sufficient for customers to change their behavior. A good marketing plan is a key element to driving customer acceptance. Unfortunately, many small businesses don't have the time or expertise to develop a marketing plan before introducing a new product.

    Washington State University-Vancouver (WSUV) Business Student Partnerships is looking to change this. WSUV's Marketing Management class partners university students with regional businesses to conduct market-entry analysis and develop an action-oriented marketing plan for the company.

    The marketing assistance provided by the students includes defining and evaluating market opportunity; identifying key success factors for market entry and recommending action steps around these factors; positioning strategy, cost and risk analysis, and promotion, sales and distribution planning. Projects can also focus on developing turnaround strategies or extending existing products into new markets.

    There is no charge for companies to participate in the WSUV Business Student Partnership. However, participating businesses should expect to spend time working with students, providing feedback on interim reports, and cover any data collection costs if incurred.

    About the Washington State University-Vancouver Business Student Partnership
    The WSUV Business Student Partnership also offers assistance with overall business planning for small businesses, accounting systems design, and other business related issues.

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    Eastern Washington University Teaches Students to Think Like Cyber Criminals

    Sponsored Guest Article by Eastern Washington University

    Here's a grim fact: Computer security breaches have cost the nation more than $141 million in financial losses. Every time you turn around, news headlines are warning about another virus (10 to 15 new ones are detected every day) or wireless network being compromised. Education -- getting smarter and faster than the bad guys -- is the answer. Eastern Washington University is responding to this need by educating the smart cyber security experts of the future.

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    Eastern has successfully established a long-term program in advanced networking and cyber security within its Computer Science Department. The primary instructor for the sequence is Dr. John C. Shovic, a cyber security expert and an experienced entrepreneur well known for his innovative and somewhat off-the-wall style of teaching.

    Take his "war drives," for instance, when Shovic and his students take their laptops and go cruising in a target community (note: watch out for odd-looking antennae when they're on the prowl). This past year, they found that 75 percent of wireless networks in the area they "cruised" were unprotected.

    In his Advanced Network Programming course, Shovic has students build their own web servers and routers. Last quarter, he ran a contest between all the graduate students in which the student who built the fastest router (routers are what the Internet is built out of) could skip the final exam.

    The students' work was astonishing. There was more than a 100:1 difference between the slowest and the fastest router and the top two students were separated by less than 1 percent.

    The Network Security course is all about computer security and vulnerabilities in operating systems and applications such as mail readers. Students actually write and test computer viruses that can take over an entire computer. The final project is an attempt to get Shovic to catch their virus by use of clever technical and social engineering techniques. Students who succeed get an automatic A in the class.

    "Over three years, I have given out three As due to some very clever hacking on the students' part," Shovic said.

    As the ultimate test of all they had learned in their computer and network security courses, the students in Shovic's Information Warfare class at EWU divide into armies for a "Cyber War." The idea is to defeat the other team by causing computer crashes, denial of service, getting through firewalls and stealing data, infecting with viruses -- and all the other "dirty tricks" one might devise to defeat a cyber army.

    "The First Annual EWU Red/Blue Team Hacking Contest was great," said Shovic. "The highlight was when one combatant accidentally fired up his ‘airsnarf' configuration (designed to emulate the Starbucks Wi-Fi login screen), which took over the web server providing the cyber war's real time updates -- and suddenly the projection screens were filled with the Starbucks website offering a Ray Charles album rather than the team scores and services."

    Shovic notes that students really do have to learn to do what the bad guys do, and learn how to do it better, in order to combat their tactics and make the cyber world safe. It may sound like a superheroes film scenario, but it truly is today's real-world battlefield.

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    Spokane Digital Projects and Tech Initiatives Receive National Attention

    Sponsored Guest Article

    Legislators recently approved $1 million to jump-start the Pacific Northwest Gigapop Network, a next generation high-speed link that connects Spokane to Seattle. The Gigapop, which will enable 10-gigabit-per-second capabilities, is 65 times faster than the fastest connections that currently exist between the two cities. Administered by the University of Washington, The connection will link Eastern Washington with Western Washington and other parts of the nation, Asia, Europe and South America, enabling the region to participate in the national and international research community.

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    But, Gigapop isn't the only digital initiative that's received attention. Spokane has an abundance of infrastructure in place that has attracted local and national media attention including the SpokaneHotZonesm, a 100-block high-speed broadband wireless network located in the city's downtown core. The HotZone has been featured in Time Magazine and CNN, and has won a Wireless Excellence award from the Wireless Innovation Network Society of British Columbia.

    With a population approaching 500,000, Spokane County has over 500 route miles of commercial fiber-optic infrastructure in place, and an estimated 400 individual buildings connected by fiber, routed throughout the region and through our University District, educational institutions and cluster of research and medical institutions. In fact for three straight years, Spokane area hospitals have been named in the top "100 Most Wired and Wireless in the Nation" by Hospital and Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital.

    Inland Northwest Health Services, a provider of collaborative health care services for Spokane and the surrounding region recently announced that the local health care information network operating in Washington State and Idaho has been declared a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) by fifth District Representative Cathy McMorris.

    Regional Health Information Organizations facilitate the movement of electronic medical records between physicians, labs and hospitals across large geographic areas, and in all, the network encompasses 32 hospitals, one thousand physicians, and stores more than 2.4 million electronic patient records. The RHIO allows a seamless data exchange of medical records and information.
    With the amount of extraordinary digital infrastructure in place, and its Eastern Washington geographic location, the area has become an ideal location for large data storage, business continuity, business recovery and archival backup facilities.

    Liberty Lake Internet Exchange (LLIX), an example of one successful Business Continuity Provider, regional data center and carrier hotel located in Liberty Lake, is exploring the viability of deploying a High Performance Computing Cluster (HPCC). An HPCC excels at executing applications requiring simultaneous, parallel processing which is crucial for industries like bioscience, oil and gas, medical imaging and university and governmental research. LLIX recently joined the VPnet consortium, a private, collaborative broadband network that connects Inland Northwest higher education institutions, with healthcare organizations, research organizations and corporate partners.

    As a unique resource for VPnet members and other entities throughout the state and the nation, this proposed HPCC cluster will provide very high-performance processing power, and increase the ability to recruit and grow businesses in the region.

    The attention garnered by these digital initiatives has spurred the formation of a Regional Technology Alliance, led by the City of Spokane, Spokane Area Economic Development Council and Avista Corporation. The objective of this alliance will be to establish a working strategic technology plan for the next ten years to keep Spokane on the right track in regards to technology and innovation. Members include municipalities, educational institutions, healthcare organizations and private business.

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    Rivetek Receives Industry Achievement Award

    Rivetek, Inc., Bellingham, WA, was awarded the 2005 Industry Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community from the Washington Software Alliance. The company was honored for its commitment to providing ongoing educational partnerships for all employees to encourage life-long learning and to encourage others in the community to develop industry skills. Robin Halliday, Rivetek's Chief Executive Officer, serves on WTC's Board of Directors and has been actively involved in WTC's community outreach and entrepreneur programs in Bellingham.

    Lockheed Martin Information Technology was one of the three finalists in this same category. Frank Armijo, Director of the Hanford Program for Lockheed Martin Information Technology in Richland, Washington, also serves on WTC's Board of Directors.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC's current board of directors

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  • Inland Northwest entrepreneurs receive tips on attracting investors at Spokane area seminar

    Washington Technology Center and local partner INTEC co-hosted an "Eye of the Investor" workshop in Spokane on March 26, 2004 for inland northwest entrepreneurs wanting to learn how to best position their companies to investors looking to fund early-stage ventures.

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    This workshop, part of a statewide series organized by the WTC and presented by the Alliance of Angels, drew a group of nearly 40 company founders and representatives and provided personal insight from investors on a variety of topics, including:

    * Where to find angel investors
    * How to attract early-stage investors to your company
    * Factors considered by investors when making an investment decision
    * Strategies for handling investor relations.

    During the half-day course, seasoned investment professionals covered key points critical to making an entrepreneurial venture attractive from a funding perspective. Real world examples, best and worst case scenarios and tips for making the "pitch" were covered in depth.

    Mark your calendar for upcoming Eye of the Investor workshops:

    June 9, 2004
    Tri-Cities, WA
    Co-host: TRIDEC

    June 18, 2004
    Wenatchee, WA
    Co-host: SBDC

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Angel Network

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  • Access university talent

    Did you know that Washington's universities have a program that can directly benefit your company?

    Many engineering students across the state are required to complete a senior design project, which allows engineering and computer science students to work with industry on "real life" problems -- benefiting both students by educating them on professional practice and companies by gaining fresh ideas and solutions to real problems.

    Additional benefits to a company sponsoring a project include:

    -- Low cost, low risk investigation of new ideas.
    -- Getting multiple, fresh views on a problem.
    -- Accessing state-of-the-art advances in the field.
    -- Supporting a future supply of well-trained engineers.
    -- Exposure to potential new hires.

    The senior design program varies from school to school in project time frames, requirements, and costs. Companies may expect to contribute a minimum of $2,500.

    Projects begin in the fall quarter or semester (August–September), so act now!

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    Join WTC at Entrepreneur University 2003

    Starting and growing a small business can be complicated and challenging. Entrepreneur University can help new entrepreneurs find that competitive edge. The two-day workshop is bringing together the region's top venture capitalists, angel investors, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and sales and marketing experts to teach the essentials of developing your business.

    More than 20 presentations from venture capitalists, angel investors, successful entrepreneurs, and other business experts are scheduled for the two-day November 2003workshop in Seattle. Topics include securing funding, writing a business plan, developing customer-driven products, forming a board, and creating credible financial models.

    WTC is one of the event's sponsors. Lee Cheatham, WTC executive director, is moderating a session on the government's role in encouraging entrepreneurship. David Giuliani, former chairman of Washington Technology Center's board of directors, will be giving a keynote presentation on "The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success."

    Entrepreneur University is organized by the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurial and venture activity in the Pacific Northwest.

    Entrepreneur University 2003 will be held November 6–7, 2003 at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Northwest Entrepreneur Network

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  • Companies meet state legislators

    Several of the companies that WTC has supported had the opportunity to showcase their developing technologies directly to legislators at the 2003 Association of Washington Business (AWB) Legislative Reception. Held in Olympia, this event is one of the largest gatherings of business leaders and public officials in Washington.

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    Companies and researchers developed exhibits and product demonstrations featuring WTC-funded projects. Legislators could see that technologies are being supported from around the state. The lawmakers and their guests received hands-on experience with new and future products from:

    -- Hyperion Innovations, Inc., Seattle, cordless soldering tool based on Cold Heat™ technology.
    -- InnovaTek, Inc., Richland, diesel fuel injection system for fuel cell processor.
    -- MCD Technologies, Inc., Tacoma, heat transfer technology (Refractance Window™ evaporator) for food drying.
    -- RS Medical, Inc., Vancouver, bone growth stimulation devices.
    -- VisionGate, Inc., Gig Harbor, optical tomography for cancer screening.

    The AWB is a diverse organization with a statewide membership of 3,700 small and large businesses that employ more than 600,000 Washington residents.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Association of Washington Business

    Related WTC links:

  • Hyperion Innovations is a WTC client
  • InnovaTek is a WTC client
  • MCD Technologies is a WTC client
  • RS Medical is a WTC client
  • VisionGate is a WTC client

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  •