INDUSTRIES

The companies and institutions of Greater Seattle are game changes. They have transformed flight, business and communications, creating immense value for people around the world. Today, continued innovation is sparking new, high growth industries, positioning the Greater Seattle region as a major driver of the global economy.

Innovation and collaboration

The Greater Seattle region has an economy centered on industries of the future and buoyed by traditional industries as well. Innovation runs like a current through them all, from maritime and aviation to clean tech and architecture.

  • Boeing's Dreamliner is a pioneer in lightweight, fuel-efficient aircraft. In 2011 Boeing made aviation history again by using biofuels on a transatlantic flight.
  • Bone marrow transplantation for certain types of cancer was pioneered at the Fred Hutchinson Center for Cancer Research. Today, researchers are leading a study to cure HIV.
  • Amazon took commerce online. Today the company is driving efficiency more than ever with its cloud computing services.
  • Operating in Tacoma and Seattle for over 100 years, Foss Maritime created the first hybrid tugboat, running on batteries, generators and engines in 2009.
  • Kirkland-based startup Inrix uses integrated, cloud-based software and sensing systems to provide traffic monitoring for countries around the world.

Many innovations out of the Greater Seattle area are the fruit of collaboration between industries. For instance, the intersection of the life sciences and mobile technology is producing new products in telemedicine. Similarly, the intersection of architecture, engineering and software has given rise to new, energy efficient buildings.

Major industries

Learn more about our diverse array of industries with our write-ups and industry brochures, below.

Aerospace

With a legacy that spans nearly 100 years, the aerospace industry in Greater Seattle and Washington state is one of the largest in the world. Home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes, around 800 aerospace firms here employ 17% of all aerospace workers in the US. When it comes to designing, manufacturing and building aircraft, no other place in the world can surpass our level of skill and efficiency.

Agriculture

We take pride in our productive farmland, an instrumental part of our regional economy. From the dairy farms of Snohomish County to the urban gardens of King County and the many fruit and vegetable farms throughout Pierce County, there are around 147,000 acres of farmland in the Greater Seattle region.

Architecture, Planning & Engineering

Our companies are designing and building the next generation of energy efficient buildings and critical human infrastructure around the world. Areas of specialization include green building and design, power plant design, water resource management and design of the natural landscape.

Biotechnology

We are an incubator for research and technologies being pioneered in the life sciences. Our strong IT, research and life sciences sectors are collaborating to create new technologies in areas ranging from genetic testing to telemetry and wireless patient monitoring systems.

Clean Energy and Environmental Services & Technology

In 2012 research firm Clean Edge ranked Greater Seattle #5 for its leadership in clean tech, testament to the innovation that characterizes our industry. Competencies include clean energy generation and distribution, green building, smart metering and environmental remediation.

Distribution & Logistics

Our historic maritime role, strategic location and international expertise make Greater Seattle one of the leading distribution and logistics centers in the world. Together the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma represent the third-largest container load center in the US, serving not only the Pacific Northwest but also the major cities of the Midwest and East Coast.

Education

Our educational institutions offer excellent opportunities for students, professionals and researchers. Home to the top public recipient of US federal research dollars, the University of Washington, our areas of expertise include aerospace, computer science, medicine and the life sciences, interactive media and much more.

Forestry

One of the early industries of Washington state, our forestry industry is renowned for its diverse evergreen varieties, primary and value-added wood products and careful conservation efforts.

Health & Medical Industry

World renowned education, research and collaboration are central to Greater Seattle’s illustrious health and medical ecosystem. Home to the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, these institutions have gone on to foster many spin offs that are solving some of the most pressing challenges in global health today.

Maritime

The maritime industry is deeply important to Washington state. Our ship building and repair companies and craft design firms ensures the smooth functioning of waterborne trade to and from Washington state. Home to one of the finest fishing industries in the US, we are also home to the largest public marina in the US.

Outdoor Recreational Equipment

With lakes, rivers, ski slopes and the Pacific Ocean all within a half hour drive, outdoor activity has long been a mainstay of Greater Seattle. It has inspired generations of world-class, high-tech manufacturers and designers making skis, snowboards, camping equipment and more, including companies such as REI, Marmot and Outdoor Research.

Research

From agriculture and environmental research conducted east of the Cascade Mountains to infectious disease, IT and biofuel research in Greater Seattle and Washington state is a leader in high-tech research.

Services & Products for Africa & Emerging Markets

Ours are companies that are helping populations around the world reach their goals. These companies are designing and building power stations, developing vaccines, educational curriculum and more.

Software & Information Architecture

When it comes to IT no other region in the world can top our leadership. Home to the world’s largest software company, online retailer and online travel company, our stellar pool of talent is charting new territory in mobile technology, enterprise software, cloud computing, interactive media and cyber security. The University of Washington is a huge engine for this industry, home to one of the top programs in Computer Science in the US.

Specialty Beverages

Thirsty? How about a hot cup of coffee? Or a glass of wine to complement your dinner? Or maybe a craft beer as you catch up with friends? How about a tall glass of pure Washington apple juice? Whatever your thirst, Washington is the place to quench it.