2018 Showcase Recap: Research Centers and City Partnerships

Guest Contributor Winston Kelly, UW Master’s of Public Administration Student, Environmental Advocate

The following organizations gave presentations at the 2018 CleanTech Innovation Showcase. Twenty-four companies and organizations presented as part of the full-day event that convenes the top cleantech innovators and leaders from across the region.

Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites – featuring Washington State University

Washington State University is a founding member of the state-of-the-art Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites. We all know that our current use of plastics is not sustainable. The Center is working diligently to take renewable resources and convert them into bioplastics and biocomposites so they can replace traditional plastics in the market.  They bring WSU’s expertise in technology and engineering into the equation and offer partners unique access to the next generation of innovators and engineers – their PhD, graduate, and undergraduate students. They also boast an impressive return on investment, with a 35:1 dollar return on investments from $15,000 to $30,0000. For those interested in bioplastics and biocomposites, check out how the Center can work with you.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jamie Holladay, the chief engineer for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) presented about PNNL’s work to advance environmental, energy, and safety research. Holladay highlighted a smorgasbord of projects that PNNL has helped drive in recent years, everything from the body scanners many of us see in airports around the U.S. to ground-breaking developments in new refrigeration techniques. PNNL brings together industry experts, engineers, physicists, chemists, and innovators on dozens of different fronts, and their developments are being deployed everywhere from the University of Washington to Singapore. PNNL also pursues a number of traditional research opportunities too, including frequent academic and research publications.

Washington Clean Energy Testbeds

Devin MacKenzie, the Director of Washington Clean Energy Testbeds, presented on what they offer to startups, researchers, and innovators alike. They provide state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that enable innovators and researchers from dozens of disciplines to test their ideas and IPs without having to invest the millions of dollars and hundreds of hours needed to do so on their own. They allow those in the clean energy and clean tech industry to shave off years of R & D by putting all the resources and expertise they need in one, easily accessible place. They also offer one of a kind training and workshops for the clean technology industry. Washington Clean Energy Testbeds seems like a great place to go if you want to move your project from vision to reality.

City of Spokane

Mayor of Spokane David Condon made it clear Spokane is a hub of clean tech industry in Washington. Under his leadership, Spokane has ramped up their investments and focus on three critical areas: Education, Transportation, and the Environment. Current initiatives vary from their efforts to become a zero-landfill city in the near future to a revitalized stormwater street system that allows for more efficient water collection and treatment. The City of Spokane has put a priority on community partnerships, a point that Mayor Condon explained was the key to their sustainable economic growth. Over the course of his brief presentation, Mayor Condon made a strong case for workers and employers alike to pursue opportunities in Spokane.

For more Showcase recaps, click here.