Tuesday, January 07 2020
In 1962, some of the best and brightest minds in the world gathered in Washington State to predict what life would be like in the 21st century. Their wild predictions? wall-sized TV screens, cordless power tools, audiobooks, digital libraries, home computers and even a phone you could put in your pocket.
Fast forward to 2019, and these seemingly crazy predictions are pretty spot on. So what are Washington’s visionaries up to these days? For starters, they’re electrifying transportation networks, seeking cures for cancer, zeroing out the state’s carbon footprint, exploring the promises of quantum computing and artificial intelligence, and setting their sights on the moon and beyond.
Blessed with a unique pioneer spirit, a passion for collaboration, boundless creativity and a penchant for seeing things as they can be rather than as they are, Washington’s entrepreneurs and businesses continue to shape the world as we know it, from how we shop and travel to how we explore the heavens.
A Clean, Clear Commitment
In 2019, the state legislature passed legislation mandating that 100 percent of Washington’s energy come from clean power sources by 2045, creating new opportunities in power generation, alternative fuels, energy storage and grid management.
To that end, the state is electrifying its fleet of ferries and building a new Maritime Innovation Center as part of its Maritime BLUE initiative. In the aerospace sector, newcomer MagniX is developing electric motors that will be able to power passenger aircraft cleanly and safely.
A robust community of startups feeds new ideas into the healthcare ecosystem. This includes hundreds of medical device companies that are taking advantage of the state’s expertise in software, big data, cloud computing, engineering and hardware. A good example of this melding of technology and life science is OtoNexus’ new Doppler Ultrasound otoscope. This new device allows doctors to differentiate between viral and bacterial ear infections quickly and non-invasively. The result: more accurate diagnoses and reduced use of antibiotics.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance researchers are using natural language processing (NLP) to train algorithms to identify and record genomic biomarkers for specific lung cancers. The use of artificial intelligence increases the efficiency and accuracy of identifying specific mutations so customized oral therapies can be used as a first-line treatment instead of traditional radiation and chemotherapy.
Plenty of Space.
In Redmond, SpaceX is producing Starlink satellites that will provide global Internet access. Across town, Aerojet Rocketdyne, which has designed and built thousands of rocket engines since the 1960s, inked a $170 million contract with NASA to provide thrusters for the upcoming Artemis moon missions. In Seattle, Spaceflight Industries has revolutionized launch and mission management services, purchasing previously unused cargo space on rockets to carry smaller customer payloads.
A Natural Choice.
An Autonomous World.
Boeing continues to be a leader in the innovative use of robotics on the factory floor, including the use of robots to apply composite fiber to aircraft structures and add the final coats of paint to 777X wings. Robots are even finding their way into the state’s orchards and vineyards. Faced with a growing shortage of pickers, farmers are using robotic harvesters to pick berries, apples, grapes and other fragile fruits.
A Creative Economy.
For more information about doing business with and in Washington State, contact the economic development team at +1 (206) 256-6100, visit ChooseWashingtonState.com or email email@example.com.