The Washington State Department of Commerce announced late last week that the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program invested $500,000 in Washington state’s maritime project, “Washington Maritime Blue 2050,” a statewide vision for creating and expanding the nation’s most sustainable ocean industry and technology cluster.
Washington state’s maritime sector contributes more than $21.4 billion in gross business income and directly employs nearly 69,500 people. Including indirect and induced impacts, the sector is responsible for 146,000 jobs in the state and $30 billion in economic activity.
A pillar of Washington state’s economy, the grant further positions the state as a competitive player in the international marketplace for maritime services. The global “Blue Economy” is booming and studies predict that scientific and technological advances will play a crucial role in addressing ocean-related environmental challenges and ocean-based economic activities in the coming decades.
The announcement of the grant came only days after the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma congratulated John Wolfe, CEO of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, on receiving the 2017 Connie Award in recognition of his achievements in the trade and transportation sectors. More information about Greater Seattle’s maritime sector can be found here.
The Port of Seattle will match the grant and will provide space for the Washington Maritime Innovation Center. For more information on Washington Maritime Blue 2050’s objectives, visit the Washington State Department of Commerce’s website.