Canadian, US business leaders announce joint framework for cross-border growth
Cascadia Innovation Corridor leadership builds capacity for innovation, economic opportunity
VANCOUVER, BC – September 13, 2018 – Today, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor announced the formation of a binational steering committee composed of the region’s top business, research and community leaders. The Committee marks a step forward in growing the Cascadia Innovation Corridor into a cohesive, globally recognized hub of innovation and commerce.
The newly-formed binational steering committee brings together regional experts from diverse backgrounds who share common vision: maturing the Cascadia Innovation Corridor into a single sustainable region, with a shared sense of identity, growth, employment and connectivity. Together, the Cascadia region boasts world-renowned post-secondary and research organizations, global leaders and companies in a diverse array of existing and emerging technology disciplines and powerful new opportunities for citizens of both countries to positively impact our region and the world.
“We’re extremely happy to see the enthusiastic support we’ve received from the business, higher-education, public sector and non-profit organizations throughout the corridor. Today’s announcement brings together some of the most influential organizations in the region,” said Christine Gregoire, CEO of Challenge Seattle. “Together, we can develop a sustained and scalable partnership for innovation.”
“We have a generational opportunity to elevate the Cascadia Innovation Corridor into a united, globally competitive innovation ecosystem,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia. “Under the leadership of the Corridor steering committee, we look forward to developing critical infrastructure that creates stronger economic, social, and cultural impact and integration.”
“In 2016, Microsoft helped convene the first Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference as an initial step in creating a more connected region that fosters innovation and collaboration,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft President. “By bringing together business leaders from both sides of the border, today’s announcement is a concrete step forward on that journey to achieve a shared economic future along the Cascadia Corridor.”
The steering committee includes the following individuals who will serve as cross-border co-chairs for each of the key sectors and cluster foundations:
- Governor Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle
- Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia
- Dr. Lesley Esford, President and CEO, Life Sciences BC
- Steve Davis, President and CEO, PATH
- Edoardo de Martin, Director, Microsoft Vancouver
- Michael Schutzler, President and CEO, Washington Technology Industry Association
- David Labistour, President and CEO, Mountain Equipment Co-op
- Linda Delli Santi, Executive Director, BC Greenhouse Growers Association
- Chad Krueger, Director, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources Sciences, Washington State University
- Kevin Desmond, President and CEO, Translink
- Paula Hammond, Former Washington State Secretary of Transportation
- Kathy Kinloch, President, BCIT
- Dr. Amy Goings, President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology
- Dr. Gail Murphy, Vice President, Research and Innovation, University of British Columbia
- Dr. Mark Richards, Provost, Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, University of Washington
- Matt Morrison, CEO, Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER)
- Dr. Laurie Trautman, Director, Border Policy Research Institute, Western Washington University
- Marilyn Strickland, CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
- Bill Tam, Co-Founder and Vice President Business Development and Partnerships, Digital Technology Supercluster
- Steve Mullin, President, Washington Roundtable
- Jill Tipping, President and CEO, BC Tech Association
The steering committee will focus on four sectors: life sciences; sustainable agriculture; transformative technologies (AI/Cloud/Virtual and Mixed Reality); financial and retail innovations. The group will also collaborate to leverage and strengthen the region’s globally leading post-secondary education and research institutions, diverse talent development, infrastructure such as transportation and housing, and the efficient cross-border movement of people and goods.
As part of its efforts to build a coalition of innovators, entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor will be hosting a two-day conference in Vancouver, B.C. October 9-10, 2018. To learn more about the conference or to attend, click here.
About the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Initiative: The Cascadia Innovation Corridor Initiative, led by the Business Council of British Columbia and Challenge Seattle links Vancouver, BC, Seattle, and Portland, holding the promise of increasing economic opportunity beyond what the cities and their surrounding regions could expect to achieve independently. The corridor’s development strategy is built on four pillars: Grow the region’s human capital and educational assets to create new opportunities and attract talent from around the world; Invest in transportation and other infrastructure to facilitate connections and collaboration; Build regional capacity for funding and investment to support new companies and collaborative initiatives; create a policy environment that spurs innovation. Read more about the Cascadia Innovation Corridor here.