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Tri-Cities Tech Business Update

This monthly e-mailed update contains news, opportunities, upcoming events, and other information about Mid-Columbia tech businesses and the organizations that support them.

October 2015 Issue


Power Entities Join Forces to Deliver Energy Management Solutions

Powerit Solutions, a leader in electrical demand management, and UniEnergy Technologies (UET), manufacturer and installer of large-scale energy storage solutions for commercial and industrial, microgrid, and utility applications, announced that avocado exporter/importer Mission Produce signed a letter of intent to deploy a UET Uni.System advanced vanadium redox flow battery in California at the end of 2015.  The vanadium flow battery has a new generation electrolyte that was first developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA and licensed by UET.  Read more about this new effort….

DOE Awards $6.5 Million for Hydropower Technologies

The Department of Energy has awarded $6.5 million to seven organizations that will help advance manufacturing and installation of low environmental impact hydropower technologies.  One of the organizations, Percheron Power, LLC of Kennewick, WA, was selected for a project with Utah Water Resource Laboratory; Hertelendy Research Associates of West Richland, WA; and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to develop advanced components for use in Archimedes Hydrodynamic Screw turbine systems—with the expectation to improve efficiency of the turbines.  Learn more….

Tech Opportunities and Resources

Applications Being Taken for Small Business Vouchers Pilot

Small businesses in the clean energy sector are invited to apply for assistance from the Department of Energy’s national laboratories through DOE’s new Small Business Vouchers Pilot.  The $20 million pilot will match these small businesses with experts from DOE’s national laboratories, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA.  More than 100 small businesses selected through the pilot’s merit review process will receive up to $300,000 in vouchers to exchange for technical assistance from the national labs or initiate collaborative research projects.  For more information and to apply….

Loans Available for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments and the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund Advisory Committee have funds available for making non-traditional loans to businesses in Benton/Franklin counties.  The loans, which range from $5,000 to $500,000, are designed to fill the gap between the amount of traditional financing available and the amount needed for a given project.   To learn more….

Business Certificate Program

The University of Washington Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center and Columbia Basin College (CBC) are hosting the Business Certificate Program at CBC in Pasco, WA.  The program will run each Thursday from October 8 – November 12, 1 pm to 4 pm. Business owners and managers will learn proven business fundamentals that they will apply to growing their companies—while networking with successful local business owners.  Cost is $250 per participant.  To register….

Tech Dates and Deadlines

Government Contracting Essentials

October 8.    Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center presents “Government Contracting Essentials” on October 8 from 8 am to 10 am at Greater Spokane Incorporated.  This workshop will help businesses understand what it takes to become a successful government contractor, including breaking through the clutter of state and federal contracting as well as learning new marketing strategies.  No cost to attend.  To register….

Fuse Starting Up Launch University

October 15.    Fuse SPC is preparing to start up Launch University, a four-week program for enriching individuals who are curious about starting a service or product business. Through a combination of in-person workshops and electronic guidance, students will take their business idea to the next level, culminating in “Pitch Night”—pitching their idea to a “Murderboard.”    Cost to attend Launch University is $39.99, or $19.99 to attend “Pitch Night.”  For more information or to register….

Hispanic Chamber Offers Free Small Business Seminars

October 20 – November 10.  The Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is offering free business strategies seminars, in Spanish, at the Downtown Pasco Development Authority Office in Pasco, WA.  All seminars will take place Tuesdays from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm and include the following:

  • October 20: Sales and Marketing

  • October 27: Finance and Marketing

  • November 3: Human Resources and Legal

  • November 10: Information Technology and Social Media. 

For more information, contact the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber at (509) 542-0933.




Walla Walla Army Corps Industry Day

October 23.    Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center presents “Walla Walla Army Corps Industry Day” on October 23 from 9 am to 4:30 pm at the Walla Walla District Headquarters Building.  Small businesses will receive guidance from the Walla Walla District Corps of Engineers on contracting with the government, including information on what happens to the proposal after it is submitted.  No cost to attend.  To learn more and register….

National Institutes of Health SBIR/STTR Conference

October 27-29.    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Conference is being held October 27 – 29, 2015 at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle, WA.  This conference will provide the opportunity to learn more about the $780 million in annual NIH funding available exclusively for small businesses to perform innovative research and build new businesses based on their technologies.  Cost to attend is $400.  To learn more and register….

Toyota Kata Workshop

October 27-29.    A Toyota Kata Workshop is being held October 27 – 29, 8 am to 4:30 pm, at Green River Community College in Kent, WA.  A kata is a pattern you practice to learn a skill and mindset, until practice of the pattern becomes second nature.  Participants will learn the purpose of Toyota Kata for learning, the four steps of improving a process, and how Toyota Kata works to build a culture that drives improvement and build competence and clarity throughout an organization. Cost is $595, with a discount of $525 per person for two or more registering together.  To register…..

2015 Industry Growth Forum

November 3-4.   The 2015 Industry Growth Forum will be held November 3-4, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt in Denver, CO.  This forum will feature presentations by 30 emerging clean energy companies, dedicated one-on-one sessions, and thought leadership panels.  Cost to attend is $400 for participants from government/non-profit agencies, $600 for participants from professional organizations, by October 12.  After October 12, registration is $500 and $700, respectively.  Each startup company applicant receives one discounted registration of $300 to attend, with subsequent registrations at the government/non-profit rate.   For more information and to register…..

Green Technologies Suppliers Meetings

November 17-19.   The Green Technologies Suppliers Meetings is a one-of-a-kind business forum that gives U.S.-based manufacturers in the green technology industry a chance to meet with utilities, the Department of Energy, and large conglomerates in an effort to increase their sales abroad.  The meetings will be held November 17-19 in Seattle, WA.  Cost is $250 per delegate.  A free webinar has been recorded for those who would like the opportunity to learn the benefits of participating in the Green Technologies Suppliers Meetings and will be available for viewing through October 26.  To learn more and register, or to access the free webinar recording.

PNNL This Month

PNNL Names Deputy Director

A biochemist with extensive experience leading bioenergy and national security research programs has been named deputy director for science and technology at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  Malin M. Young comes from the Biological and Engineering Sciences Center at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories, where she served as director.  Learn more about Malin Young….

Got News?

We invite your contributions! We will consider items that fit the mission of this publication, including your tech-related news, awards, and notices of upcoming events. Please send text and photos to or call (509) 371-6017.

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update is published by the Economic Development Office at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Each month, we send you an e-mail message, giving you the link of news, tips, awards, upcoming events, and other information about local technology-based businesses and organizations that support them. With business and community partners, our goal is to build and diversify the Tri-Cities economy—adding skilled jobs in primary-sector industries that bring in outside dollars. Currently, more than 1,100 tech-related businesses, investors, and economic development stakeholders subscribe to the newsletter, mostly in the Mid-Columbia area and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. This newsletter (RL-P00-009) supports DOE-Richland's vision for the future of the Hanford Site and surrounding area through the creation of research opportunities, new industries, and new business clusters