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Economic Development Office

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update

This monthly e-mailed update contains news, opportunities, upcoming events, and other information about Mid-Columbia tech businesses and the organizations that support them.

October 2016 Issue


Energy Northwest Plans Solar Center

Energy Northwest is planning a first-of-a-kind solar power generating and storage facility that will be located just north of Richland, WA. The facility is expected to be the largest industrial-scale solar power plant in the state. It will not only produce electricity using renewable energy, but will be coupled with a vanadium flow battery—a type of battery technology developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory—that will make electricity available whether or not the sun is shining on the facility’s solar panels. Learn more.

UniEnergy Technologies Delivering Vanadium Flow Battery for Grid Project

UniEnergy Technologies is supplying an energy storage system for a utility grid modernization project that will help researchers and utilities understand the benefits and challenges associated with energy storage integration. The $2.5-million, 2-year project will use the UET ReFlex™ energy storage system to enable an “islandable” microgrid in the operations center of the Chattanooga, TN-based utility EPB. Three Department of Energy national laboratories—including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, from whom UET licensed the vanadium flow battery technology—will collaborate on the project. Get the details .

Tech Opportunities and Resources

Small Business Administration Providing Customized Email Messages

Small businesses can now receive customized email messages about local official training and events as well as helpful business tips offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Users simply need to provide their email address and zip code.  Sign up.

Classes Offered at Confluent

Confluent, a makerspace targeted to the arts and tech communities in Tri-Cities, WA, offers a variety of classes for members and non-members.  Confluent, located in Richland, offers memberships starting at $35 per month.  Classes include:

  • October 27.  Electronics Monthly, 7 - 9 pm.
  • November 5. Intro to Soldering: String Car Racing, 1-3 pm.
  • November 16. Soldering 101, 6 - 9 pm.

Classes are at the Confluent facility.  See the full variety of classes offered.  Learn more about Confluent.

Fuse Coworking Hosting Events in October

Fuse SPC is the Tri-Cities’ first social purpose corporation that provides a shared work environment, community, and resources for the entrepreneurial, startup, artistic, and tech communities.  Located in Richland, WA, Fuse is offering the following events in October:

  • October 17.  Speaking with the Enemy: Communication Workshop, 5:30 - 7 pm.
  • October 18.  Tuestorial: So You Want to be a Mentor, noon - 1 pm.

Classes are at the Fuse facility.  See Fuse’s calendar.  Learn more about Fuse.

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center Offering Variety of Workshops

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is a state-wide organization dedicated to guiding companies through the entire process of applying for and fulfilling government contracts.  The PTAC offers a wide variety of workshops that help inform small business owners and others about aspects of contracting, including:

  • October 11.  Marketing to the Federal Government, 9 - 10:30 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA.
  • October 14.  Meet the Navy, 10 am - noon at Greater Spokane Incorporated in Spokane, WA.
  • October 20.  How to Write a Winning Proposal, 8 am - 3 pm at Greater Spokane Incorporated in Spokane, WA.
  • October 25.  GSA 101, 8:30 - 10:30 am at the Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center in Kennewick, WA.
  • November 16.  Small Business Contracting and Legal Issues, 8:30 - 11:30 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA.
  • December 8.  Government Contracting Essentials, 9 - 11 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA.

 See the full PTAC calendar.  Learn more about PTAC. 

Tech Dates and Deadlines

SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for the Department of Defense

October 5.   Life Science Washington is offering “SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for DoD” on October 5 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at the Agora Conference Center in Seattle, WA.  The federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer programs award over $2.6 billion each year in high-risk research and development funding to help qualified small businesses commercialize new technologies.  In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of the program, an understanding of the differences in Department of Defense components, how to identify a topic, and how to avoid common pitfalls and problems.  Cost to attend is $75.  Learn more and register.

Commercialization for SBIR-Stage Companies

October 6.   Life Science Washington is offering “Commercialization for SBIR-Stage Companies” on October 6 from 8 am – 12:15 pm at the Agora Conference Center in Seattle, WA.  This workshop will provide the basics in early market assessment and planning, pitfalls to avoid, and key steps for Small Business Innovation Research-stage companies.  Cost to attend is $75.  Learn more and register.

Innovation Showcase: Energizing the Pipeline of Clean Technologies

October 6 - 7.   The National Renewable Energy Laboratory presents “Innovation Showcase: Energizing the Pipeline of Clean Technologies” on October 6 – 7 in Beaver Creek, CO.  By invitation, clean technology entrepreneurs, investment professionals, strategic industry partners, and ecosystem members will receive an early look at promising clean technology solutions and companies working with the national labs.  Express interest in attending.  Learn more.

Army Corps of Engineers - Walla Walla District Industry Days

October 13 - 14.   The Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hosting a seminar for business owners from 8:30 am – 5 pm at the Walla Walla District Headquarters in Walla Walla, WA.  Participants will learn how to do business with the Corp by receiving informational briefings, opportunities for roundtable discussion, and information about upcoming contracting opportunities.  No cost to attend.  Learn more and register. 

Bridging Partnerships

October 18 - 19.   The Tri-City Development Council and the Hanford Small Business Council present the 2016 Bridging Partnerships Small Business Symposium, held October 18 – 19 at TRAC in Pasco, WA.  This event provides networking opportunities for small businesses to network with the best businesses in industry.  Each year, more than 250 small business owners and procurement executives attend the reception, luncheon, and breakout sessions.  Cost is $100 to attend.  See the agenda.  Register.

PNNL This Month

Five PNNL Technologies Named R&D 100 Finalists

R&D Magazine has announced that five technologies developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are finalists for prestigious R&D 100 Awards, which honor the 100 most innovative technologies of the past year.  The PNNL technologies are Ant-Based Cyber Defense, E4D-RT: Real-Time Four-Dimensional Subsurface Imaging Software, Physical and Cyber Risk Analysis Tool, Sensor Fish, and Ultra-Trace and Vapor Detection of Explosives and Narcotics.  The top-100 technological winners will be announced at an awards dinner on November 3 in Washington, D.C.  More information.  List of all 2016 R&D 100 Award Finalists. 

PNNL Part of Virgin Atlantic Airline's Plan to Fly on Biofuels

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working with industry partner, LanzaTech, to convert alcohols derived from captured carbon monoxide into synthetic paraffinic kerosene, a non-fossil-based jet fuel.  This technology provides a viable source of sustainable jet fuel and reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.  LanzaTech, who licensed the catalytic conversion process from PNNL, has now produced 1,500 gallons of low-carbon jet fuel—Lanzanol—as part of that company’s partnership with Virgin Atlantic.  Learn more.

Truman to Lead, Boost PNNL's Commercialization, Business Engagement Efforts

Rosemarie Truman, founder and former CEO of the Center for Advancing Innovation in Bethesda, MD, has been named director of innovation impact at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  In her role, she will bolster PNNL’s commercialization, business engagement, and economic growth activities.  She will also create new startup and entrepreneurship initiatives and capabilities designed to boost job creation, create new markets for ideas and products, and maximize the potential impact of federal investments. Learn more.

Got News?

We invite your contributions! We will consider items that fit the mission of this publication, including your tech-related news, awards, and notices of upcoming events. Please send text and photos to or call (509) 371-6017.

Tri-Cities Tech Business Update is published by the Economic Development Office at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Each month, we send you an e-mail message, giving you the link of news, tips, awards, upcoming events, and other information about local technology-based businesses and organizations that support them. With business and community partners, our goal is to build and diversify the Tri-Cities economy—adding skilled jobs in primary-sector industries that bring in outside dollars. Currently, more than 1,100 tech-related businesses, investors, and economic development stakeholders subscribe to the newsletter, mostly in the Mid-Columbia area and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. This newsletter (RL-P00-009) supports DOE-Richland's vision for the future of the Hanford Site and surrounding area through the creation of research opportunities, new industries, and new business clusters