Hey, What’s Up With the Stimulus These Days?

Glad you asked. It’s been a while since we posted our last “Where are the Recovery Act Dollars” update, and I’m pleased to say that ARRA investments in our four-county region’s leading industry clusters (i.e. – direct funding of projects in clean tech and life sciences, excluding things like transportation and public safety) has topped $1.1 billion. Check out the entire list here.

The big question, as I’ve been saying for a long time, is not how much money did we get, but where did it go?

First, it’s important to note that not all the Recovery Act funds have been granted out yet. In fact, there are two big awards that our region might benefit from: the second round of the broadband grants and the $130 million E-RIC energy efficiency hub competition. The latter is potentially a huge win, not only for the region generally (we submitted as part of a four-state consortium), but specifically for the Metropolitan Business Plan project (which we submitted as the commercialization section of the overall energy efficiency R&D to market Hub concept).

But regardless, there have already been some exciting investments.  A couple of highlights for me include:

Life Sciences

  • $3.4 million to Bellevue College toward a “Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Technology Professionals”
  • $9.9 million to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for construction of an energy-efficient high-performance
    computing and data center to support research on understanding, treating and preventing cancer and other
    human diseases
  • $25 million to Public Health Seattle-King County for programs in nutrition, obesity reduction and tobacco cessation (which, by the way, is being granted out to local organizations, if you’re interested)

Clean Tech

  • $3.9 million to the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council along with $3.6 million to the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County for green jobs training
  • $20 million to the City of Seattle for their neighborhood-scale energy-efficiency retrofit program and $4.9 million to the cities of Bainbridge Island and Bremerton for theirs
  • $15 million to the Snohomish County Public Utilities District to install a smart grid framework on the utility side, plus $9.6 million to the University of Washington for a Smart Micro Grid Project with Seattle City Light &
    McKinstry (part of the Battelle Smart Grid Demonstration Project)
  • $21 million to EnerG2 for production of high energy density nano-carbon for ultracapacitors.
  • $20.6 million to Ramgen Power Systems for Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage Applications as well as a $4.8 million  Manufacturing Tax Credit

IT/Broadband

  • $84 million to the Northwest Open Access Network for a Broadband Infrastructure Project

I could go on and on, and there’s probably lots of you who are saying, “Hey, why didn’t the $20 million for Nissan/ETEC for electric vehicles get on the list?” or “What about all that hundreds of millions of dollars to the UW?”  Yes, all that and more.  Which means, let’s figure out how to leverage it all for long-term economic development potential (see you in a few years, Recovery Act baby boom)!

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