The region’s clean technology industry is about to get a shot in the arm in the form of a $2.2 million federal grant.
Earlier today, the Obama Administration, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Employment and Training Administration and the Small Business Administration announced the Portland-Vancouver region has been awarded a $2.2 million federal grant to develop two of the region’s prominent industry clusters – clean technology and manufacturing.
With the grant, the Portland Regional Clean Tech Advance Initiative (CTA) hopes to connect, leverage and multiply local, regional and national resources to connect clean technology innovations with manufacturing to increase the region’s competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
A total of 20 regions throughout the country were awarded federal grants through the Innovation Acceleration Challenge, a multi-agency competition launched in May to support the advancement of regional industry clusters.
The economic development organization Greater Portland Inc. served as the regional convener, bringing together more than 20 organizations and universities from Oregon and Southwest Washington to design the CTA.
“When the region works together as a team our economy wins,” said Sean Robbins, president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc, in a press release. “We have the capacity to play a significant role in the global export market and connecting existing manufacturing capacity to emerging clean tech sectors will bolster our position even further.”
As part of the CTA initiative, partner organizations Oregon Microenterprise Network, Worksystems Inc. and the Portland Development Commission will develop a process to identify companies that are in the clean tech industry or have an interest in diversifying into clean tech, specifically focusing on those that are economically disadvantaged.
“We are very pleased to be a part of the Clean Tech Advance initiative,” said Valerie Plummer, executive director of the Oregon Microenterprise Network. “Our focus on minority and under-represented businesses in the region will play an important role in creating new approaches to manufacturing and new jobs for the region.”