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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.

August 2016 Issue


Port of Benton Land Keeps IsoRay in the Community

IsoRay Medical is remaining in Richland, WA, thanks to the Port of Benton. The company, which provides innovative solutions for treating and diagnosing disease using medical isotopes, had been looking to expand its facilities and possibly relocate away from the Tri-Cities.  However, the Port of Benton sold 4.2 acres of land in north Richland to keep the company local, offering the land to IsoRay for $160,000. The company, with 30 employees who make their homes in the Tri-Cities, had previously received many incentives to relocate to the city of Tucson, AZ, where its board members live.  The end result will be a facility costing between $6 million and $10 million with a 10-year deed restriction—including investment in the community, retaining the company in the community, and creating at least 25 full-time equivalent jobs. Learn more about IsoRay.  Information courtesy of the Tri-Cities Journal of Business.

Pasco named 10th Fastest Growing City in Washington

According to the Office of Financial Management, Pasco, WA is the 10th fastest growing city in the state.  The state’s population (7,183,700) has grown by an estimated 1.73 percent over the past year, the largest increase since 2007.   Housing growth in the state also increased by nearly 6 percent compared to last year.  Other fast-growing cities include Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Federal Way.  Learn more.

Port of Benton's Triton Sail Park Featured in "The Runner"

The Port of Benton’s Triton Sail Park, located in Richland, WA, was recently featured on an episode of “The Runner.”  This reality television competition consists of teams of two—called “Chaser Teams”—attempting to catch a runner, whose goal is to race across the United States.  The show was filmed on July 24 and also features the City of Richland and the Port of Benton dock facilities.  Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are executive producers of the show.  See the episode.

Master Planning for Port of Benton/City of Richland Land

The Port of Benton and the City of Richland are beginning the master planning process for 1,341 acres of land previously owned and managed by the Department of Energy.  Kennewick, WA-based consulting firm JUB Engineers, Inc. was selected to develop the plan for the land, which includes 581 acres for the City of Richland and 760 acres for the Port of Benton. The property was transferred via the Tri-City Development Council earlier this year with the intent of holding more than 200 acres for a clean energy manufacturer.  Learn more.

Tech Opportunities and Resources

Statewide Economic Gardening Program Applications Available

The Washington State Economic Gardening Program is designed to help second-stage growth companies take their businesses to the next level while enhancing connections to the community.  In this program, participating companies will learn to identify market trends, potential competitors, and unknown resources; map geographic areas for targeted marketing; and raise visibility in search engine results and increase web traffic.  To be eligible, companies must be for-profit, privately held businesses headquartered and operating in Washington state; have between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue; employ 6 – 99 full-time equivalent employees, including the owner; and have demonstrated growth in revenue or employees in two of the last five years. Cost for businesses to participate is $750.  Learn more about the Economic Gardening program.  Apply.

Washington PTAC Offers On-Demand Webinars

Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is providing free, on-demand contracting webinars.  These webinars include:

  • Understanding the Solicitation and Proposal Development.  This training covers the review process, the bid-no bid decision, tools for preparing a bid response, proposal errors to avoid, and the final review process.
  • Change Orders.  This training is designed to help small businesses prepare for the unexpected.
  • Estimating and Bidding: Creating a System for Profitability, Parts One and Two.  Part One provides the fundamentals needed to begin the estimating process, while Part Two continues to lay the groundwork, including building the estimate and common errors to avoid.
  • Negotiation Principals:  Getting to Win/Win.  This training provides the basics of negotiation, how to manage the process without "losing your cool," and what to know before the conversation starts.
  • Working with Prime Contractors.  This training provides best practices and issues to avoid when working with a prime contractor.

 Get more information, the full list of webinars, and register.


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 $25 per month.  Classes include:

  • August 6.  Laser Cutting Tool Training, 1 – 3 pm and 3 - 5 pm.

  • August 20.  String Racing Cars Workshop, 1 – 4 pm.

See the full variety of classes offered.  Learn more about Confluent.

Tech Dates and Deadlines

Government Contracting Weekly Webinars: Using RAPIDGATE

August 3.  Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center presents “Using RAPIDGate,” 9 – 10 am.  This webinar helps the participant learn about access policies at facilities and how they affect your business, how to use options companies have to gain access, and how to register for the RAPIDGate program.  This webinar is part of Government Contracting Weekly, a series of webinars that will help the small business owner more easily navigate the local, state, or federal government marketplace.  Register for the August 3 webinar.  See the series.

Market Research for Government Contracting

August 9.   Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Market Research for Government Contracting on August 9 from 9 – 10:30 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA.  Participants will learn about market research—how it can help them decide whether state and federal government contracting is right for their business as well as identifying potential customers and how to uncover data that might be helpful in marketing efforts and proposal preparation.  No cost to attend.  Learn more and register.

Government Contracting Essentials

September 21.   Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center is offering “Government Contracting Essentials” on September 21 from 9 – 11 am at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kennewick, WA. Participants will learn the basics of marketing and selling products and services to federal, state, and local government agencies; how to classify products and services; how to register in the correct databases; and the various types of solicitations. No cost to attend.  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.

Bridging Partnerships

October 18 - 19.   The 2016 Bridging Partnerships Small Business Symposium is being 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 $75 to attend the event, $100 after October 1.  See the agenda.  Register.

PNNL This Month

Battery500 Consortium to Spark Electric Vehicle Innovations

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead the Battery500 Consortium, a multi-institutional partnership with the aggressive goal of developing lithium-metal batteries that have almost triple the “specific energy” found in the batteries that power today’s electric vehicles.  The consortium, announced recently by the White House, will receive up to $10 million a year over five years from the Department of Energy.  Partners in the consortium include Brookhaven and Idaho national labs; SLAC National Accelerator Lab; Binghamton University; Stanford University; University of California, San Diego; University of Texas at Austin; University of Washington; and IBM, which will serve as advisory board member.  Learn more about the consortium.

New Tool Calculates Emissions Impacts, Energy Benefits from Smart Grid Investments

Smart grid technologies significantly reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions resulting from power production and use. Together, smart grid and intelligent building mechanisms could reduce national carbon emissions by 12 percent by 2030.  But, sometimes the opposite is true for individual projects. A free, web-based tool developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory enables utilities and industry to evaluate not only the environmental impacts of adopting smart grid technologies, but can provide organizations with the operational data to sift through factors to justify the investment.  Learn more.

PNNL Publishes Tech-to-Market Best-Practices Guide for Commercial Buildings Using VOLTTRON(TM)

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has made available a report that provides technology-to-market guidance and best practices related to VOLTTRON™ platform deployments and commercialization activities for use in the small- to medium-sized commercial building market. VOLTTRON™ is an open-source distributed control and sensing software platform designed to manage a wide range of applications, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units; electric vehicles, and distributed energy or whole building loads. Download a copy of the report.

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