Washington Technology Center hosted the first statewide summit for Washington focused on technology and innovation on April 8, 2005 in Seattle. The Washington Technology Summit attracted more than 450 industry, academic and government leaders from across the state to discuss and evaluate the growth potential of key technology industries in our region.
WTC’s Technology Summit was the first event of its kind to collectively address the impact that research, technology and industry development play in increasing the competitiveness of Washington’s existing and emerging industries, explains Lee Cheatham, executive director of the Washington Technology Center. “The Summit provided an opportunity to position Washington’s innovation strengths at the forefront of economic development planning,” says Cheatham.
“Washington has great research strengths and a strong culture of innovation,” says Stephen Jordan, president of Eastern Washington University, a presenting sponsor of the Technology Summit. “By providing opportunities for researchers, company executives and other technology industry champions to talk about commercialization of new technologies, we increase the rate in which leading-edge ideas enter the market and improve the global competitiveness of Washington companies.”
The concept for the Technology Summit evolved out of a recent Washington State Innovation Assessment (WSIA), led by WTC, which identifies select industries as having a significant impact on Washington’s economy based on their market potential. Findings from the WSIA were announced at the 2005 Summit.
“I was encouraged by the strong turnout and high energy generated from the Technology Summit,” says U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. “The conference provided a dynamic environment for stakeholders to come together to address collectively economic development strategies that will enable Washington to capitalize on its cutting edge research and create new companies, new industries and stimulate job growth statewide,” Cantwell added.
WTC plans to continue to focus in on key Washington industries identified in the Innovation Assessment at future Technology Summits and provide additional opportunities for the state’s leadership to come together to address the capacity of these industries to shape Washington’s economy.