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.
January 2009 Issue
Business advisory group gets new leader
The Mid-Columbia Chapter of SCORE has a new chair. Mike Herber will lead the local chapter that is part of a national nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth, and success of the nation's small businesses. Mid-Columbia SCORE volunteers provide free and confidential business counseling tailored to meet the needs of small businesses. The organization also offers workshops for both start-up entrepreneurs and current small business owners. Contact Mike Herber at (509) 547-0511, ext. 3139.
Local companies receive innovation award
MEIER Enterprises, Inc. and Chervenell Construction, both based in Kennewick, Wash., were honored by Northwest Construction magazine with a "Best Design-Build Innovation" award. The companies received the award for their work on the Cayuse Technology facility located on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton, Ore. The project was one of 22 winners out of 75 nominations received and is featured in the publication's December issue.
Contact Denise Sweeden at (509) 735-1589.
CBC program receives accreditation candidacy
Columbia Basin College's new Bachelor of Applied Management degree has received initial candidacy with the Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities, which serves as the regional accreditation agency for higher education institutions in seven Western states. The new program is a two-year degree designed to broaden career opportunities and help graduates move into leadership positions by providing broad business-related education needed for many supervisory positions. The program will begin this fall and will be reviewed by the association on an ongoing basis. After the first class graduates, the program will be eligible for final accreditation approval. Contact Deborah Meadows at (509) 542-4863.
Improvements to software product
Future Point Systems, based in Richland, Wash., has the next generation of its Starlight Visual Information Systems software. Future Point Systems originally licensed the Starlight software from Battelle based on visual informatics development work done at PNNL. Version 4.1 of the company's software platform includes enhanced entity extraction to analyze text and automatically detect people, places, companies, and concepts; a roaming license capability that enables users to share a pool of licenses; and an import plug-in creation wizard that enables users to create custom plug-ins from scratch to import data from various sources and then share the custom plug-ins with other users. A free trial of the software can be downloaded from the company's support forum. Registration is required. For more information, contact Rich Remington at (408) 419-4534.
Tri-Cities Research District
This section describes news, appointees, and events related to the Tri-Cities Research District. The Research District is a vibrant, 1,600-acre mixed-use area in north Richland, Wash. with more than 80 employers and an emphasis on science and technology companies and organizations. Contact Diahann Howard at (509) 375-3060. Other Research District tenant news appears in this newsletter as indicated by the symbol *.
Annual membership meeting
The Tri-Cities Research District will hold its annual membership meeting on January 14. The meeting will be held in Room 120 of the Consolidated Information Center located on the WSU-Tri-Cities campus in Richland, Wash. The meeting agenda will feature an overview of achievements from 2008, highlighting the 292-acre master plan as well as long-term plans for the WSU-Tri-Cities campus. The meeting will also feature aninteractive session, "Engage to Shape What's Next," to discuss topics such as infrastructure and networking. Contact Diahann Howard at (509) 375-3060.
Opportunities and Tools
Technology Assistance Program
Could your business use technical assistance from knowledgeable engineers and scientists? The Technology Assistance Program at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., provides up to five days of free technical help each year. Examples of assistance include advice on existing or emerging products, advanced technology for hardware and software applications, improving production and manufacturing processes, and resolving technical problems. Small businesses that use PNNL's free Technology Assistance Program are eligible to receive a royalty-free, non-exclusive license for technology developed through the program. Contact Gary Spanner at 509-372-4296.
Creating an environment of innovation course
Columbia Basin College is offering the course "Creating an Environment of Innovation-Techniques to Help Any Organization" designed to help individuals and businesses develop skills for embracing innovation and transforming organizations. The course is scheduled for Friday mornings from January 9 through February 6. Students will participate in design challenges focused on transforming the way products, services, processes, and strategies are developed. Tuition and fees are $179.55 for Washington residents and $245.95 for non-Washington residents. Contact Donna Campbell at (509) 542-4806.
Technology commercialization grant competitions
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund has added two grant competitions designed to stimulate commercialization of early-stage technologies. Up to $750,000 in total awards will be distributed for both the winter and summer competitions each year. The commercialization grants will target research efforts centered on validating the commercial merit of new technologies. Letters of intent for the winter competition are due on February 11, and proposals will be due on April 22. Grant awards will be announced in August. Download more information and grant application forms.
Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program grants
Applications are being accepted for grants from the Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program, which focuses on maximizing the use of renewable energy in the United States by leading the country's research and development efforts to improve wind and water energy generation technologies. More information.
Research funding available
The Washington Technology Center is accepting proposals for its next round of research grants aimed at transitioning great ideas out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. The Center's Research and Technology Development grants program awards up to $100,000 for initial proof-of-concept projects and up to $300,000 total for multi-phase projects. The deadline for notices of intent is March 19 and applications will be due April 23. More information. Contact Russell Paez at (206) 616-3102.
Health & Safety Expo 2009
Registration is being accepted for booths at the 15th Annual Site Health and Safety Exposition. The event will be held at the TRAC facility in Pasco, Wash., in May. Download registration forms and other vendor information.
The article "As Hanford jobs decline, Tri-Cities needs new focus" was published in the Tri-City Herald on December 7. The article discusses the potential for technology-based businesses to become the foundation for new growth in the region.
Northwest Energy Innovation Summit
JANUARY 12. The Northwest Energy Innovation Summit on alternative energy and innovation is being held in Boise, Idaho, and will include panel discussions on technology transfer and commercialization, economic development, financing the future, and emerging technologies in agriculture and bio-science. Former Secretary of Energy Federico Pena, former CIA Director James Woolsey, and Microsoft managing director Jon Arnold are all scheduled to speak. Register on-line. Contact Mark Rivers at (208) 368-0000.
Ron Kysiak to speak
JANUARY 14. Ron Kysiak, the executive director of Northwestern University and former president of the Council for Urban Economic Development, will be the next speaker in the Tri-Cities Research District Speaker Series. Kysiak's presentation will focus on getting municipalities involved for greater success in building a research park. A reception hosted by Lockheed Martin follows the presentation. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University Tri-Cities are teaming to host the speaker series dedicated to educating stakeholders, the community, and other interested individuals and organizations on what it takes to successfully develop a research park. Meetings are held at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus and are free to registered attendees. Register online.
Seattle Economic Forecast Conference
JANUARY 15. The Seattle Economic Forecast Conference will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle, Wash. The conference will focus on providing insight into future economic trends with timely forecasts from a field of nationally recognized experts from The Conference Board, Federal Reserve Bank, and Puget Sound Economic Forecaster. The conference will also feature an interactive discussion with a panel of regional executives to address the challenges and emerging opportunities for the region. Register online.
Smart Grid technologies presentation
JANUARY 16. Roger Woodworth of Avista Utilities will be the next speaker in the Spokane Science, Technology & Business Discovery series. Woodworth's presentation will focus on Smart Grid technologies and the benefits for America's power generation and distribution. The speaker series highlights new and breakthrough developments in science, technology and their business applications by showcasing Washington state scientists and business leaders and is designed for business and community leaders who want to stay on top of important advancements being made in our state, nationally and internationally.
Contact Amy Bell Rousso at (206) 389-7261.
Harvesting Clean Energy conference
JANUARY 25-27. The 9th annual Harvesting Clean Energy conference will be held in Billings, Mont. The conference is designed to advance rural economic development through clean energy production. Over 70 leaders - pioneers of the new clean energy economy - will present their practical insights and inspiration to help initiate profitable new clean energy projects and programs. Sessions will focus on the practical steps to successful project development and financing - for wind, solar, bioenergy and biofuel, geothermal, efficiency, and microhydro projects - from feasibility and economic assessments, to accessing technical and agency support, to securing financing amidst the current tough finance market. Register online. Contact Pat Gibbon at (206) 443-9570, ext. 34.
Regional Economic Outlook forecast
JANUARY 28. RSVP BY JANUARY 12. The Tri-City Development Council will hold the 2009 Regional Economic Outlook forecast for the Tri-Cities, Washington region at the TRAC Facility in Pasco, Wash. Topics will include forecasts on issues such as health care, agribusiness, and the housing market. This year's keynote speaker is David Zach who will discuss trends, change, and traditions for shaping the future. Admission is $75 for TRIDEC members who RSVP and pay by January 12, 2009 and $85 for non-members and for all RSVPs after January 12. The entrance fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, all sessions, and all handouts. Contact Kristi Kesler at (509) 735-1000.
American Society for Quality meeting
FEBRUARY 3. REGISTER BY JANUARY 29. The Columbia Basin chapter of the American Society for Quality's February meeting will feature a demonstration of the Red Bead Experiment, an interactive teaching tool. The experiment demonstrates the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of various techniques-such as rewarding or punishing workers-for ensuring quality products. Steve Prevette, a statistician and Certified Quality Engineer with Fluor Government Group, will give the presentation. The meeting will be held at the Shilo Inn in Richland, Wash., with check-in and networking beginning at 5:30 pm, chapter business and buffet dinner at 6 pm, followed by the presentation at 7 pm. The cost is $17 for members and $20 for non-members, or $5 for the presentation only. To register, contact Alvin Langstaff at (509) 371-2221 with your name, phone number and company affiliation.
Mark Your Calendar
Spokane Science, Technology & Business Discovery speaker series
FEBRUARY 20. Patricia Hunt from the Washington State University School of Molecular Biosciences will be the February speaker in the Spokane Science, Technology & Business Discovery series. Hunt's presentation will focus on the environmental factors, especially in plastics, that affect reproductive health. The speaker series highlights new and breakthrough developments in science, technology and their business applications by showcasing Washington state scientists and business leaders and is designed for business and community leaders who want to stay on top of important advancements being made in our state, nationally and internationally. Contact Amy Bell Rousso at (206) 389-7261.
Washington Innovation Summit 2009
APRIL 9. REGISTER BY MARCH 6 FOR EARLY BIRD RATE. Washington Innovation Summit 2009 will bring together more than 400 innovators and thought leaders in sustainability and technology who are driving industry development in sustainable energy, innovative materials & manufacturing, urban sustainability, and healthy ecosystems. The Summit will focus on how we are developing innovative and sustainable approaches to realize our opportunities and overcome challenges. Keynote speakers will include Gifford Pinchot III, co-founder and president emeritus of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and Thomas E. Plimpton, vice chairman of PACCAR. Full registration includes all summit breakout and general sessions, breakfast, lunch and reception and is $190 until March 6, and $230 after March 6. Registration for the reception only is $45. Register online.
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 Diane Kahler or call (509) 372-4133.
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