Individuals play the game, the old sports saying goes, but teams win championships. As it turns out, that adage is also very much applicable to building a technology-based economic zone, which is why economic development officials in Southwest Washington are thrilled with the recent designation of Vancouver-Camas as a state Innovation Partnership Zone (IPZ). Prior to the designation, city, county and regional officials were already working to improve ties between government entities, existing tech business and higher education. So when the state Department of Commerce handed down its economic zone classification in early October (known officially as the Vancouver/Camas Applied Digital Technology Accelerator), it was both a recognition of all of that hard work and a shot in the arm for local technology advocates and businesses. “There is a lot of energy and synergy already,” said Sandra Towne, manager of planning and policy in the city of Vancouver’s Community & Economic Development Department. “It’s a prestigious thing to have and it showcases us working as partners.” Although the state designation currently comes with no support money, “It sets us up for other funding,” said Towne. She cited a grant prepared by Washington State University Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture Program (CMDC). The grant, endorsed by the IPZ management team, would “help develop a formal entrepreneurial focus on applied digital technology” between the school and the IPZ, through new and expanded course offerings. Workforce development, in fact, is one of the key goals of the four-year state designation. “Working together...we can build educational programs that will supply future talent and fuel future inventions, innovations and businesses benefiting the region’s economy and livability,” said Towne. The IPZ team also plans to work closely with Clark College, and is looking at events, workshops, mentoring programs and dedicated incubator space as possibilities to connect students, faculty and technology business innovators. Click headline to read more--
“TakePart Innovation Update: 3-D Digital Technology Finds Its Place in the Classroom ... TakePart Donnelly says these innovative projects generate immense enthusiasm in students. “The kids are so gaga over working with this technology,” he says.”
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