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Biden-Harris administration designates Tech Hub in the Spokane Valley to support the demand for advanced composite aerostructures

The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), announced that the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Tech Hub in Spokane, Washington, was designated as one of the 31 inaugural Tech Hubs in regions across the country that show potential for rapid growth in key technology sectors.

Biden-Harris administration designates Tech Hub  in the Spokane Valley to support the demand for advanced composite aerostructures
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The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Tech Hub, a consortium led by Gonzaga University, will build on an established aerospace foundation, relationships among research institutions and the private sector, and existing and growing labor market to meet the strong and growing demand for the materials that will enable more—and more sustainable—air travel. By pursuing a testbed facility to prove out high-rate methods thermoplastic composites, this Tech Hub seeks to become a global leader in making the ribs, beams, doors, and more that are critical to the next generation of lightweight aircraft.

This designation is part of the first phase of the novel Tech Hubs program, authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, that will invest directly in high-potential U.S. regions and aim to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s strategy to supercharge their respective technological industry to create jobs and strengthen U.S. economic and national security. Designated Tech Hubs are now eligible to apply for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program that will invest between $50-$75 million in each of 5-10 Designated Hubs.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Each of these consortia will help us ensure the industries of the future—and their good-paying jobs—start, grow, and remain in the United States.”

“These outstanding consortia exemplify place-based economic development strategies at their best: combining federal resources with regional assets, expertise, and coalitions to implement transformational opportunities,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “As each region develops its own strategy to catalyze innovation and job creation, the entire nation grows more secure and more competitive.”

“This designation is a testament to the innovative manufacturing and collaborative research taking place in Spokane and across Washington state. Not only will the hub provide good paying jobs and help maintain Washington’s global aerospace leadership, it will also lead us further towards our climate and sustainability goals. I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration, our Congressional delegation, Gonzaga University, and the nearly 50 Spokane area partner organizations for making this happen,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

“Washington state has a proud history of being a global leader in aerospace technology—and this Tech Hub designation will give a major boost to aviation innovation and workforce development in Spokane and across our state,” said Washington Senator Patty Murray. “I was glad to support Gonzaga and its partners in their application for Tech Hub status and am thrilled that resources I secured to get this new CHIPS and Science Act program off the ground are going to spur innovation, improve our national security, and create jobs in Washington state. I look forward to seeing the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center become a manufacturing and research powerhouse for next-generation aviation materials, while supporting critical supply chains and manufacturing jobs in our state.”

“Today, the Department of Commerce recognized the Spokane region as the nation’s future aerospace advanced materials Technology Hub. Winning this designation to be one of the first CHIPS & Science tech hubs raises a banner over the region saying that the U.S. is all-in on Spokane’s potential to generate new discoveries and new jobs. There are already 54 aerospace suppliers within 20 miles of Spokane, and the planned American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center is a prime example of the breadth of that ecosystem – the hub brings together educational institutions like Gonzaga, UW and WSU; companies like Boeing and Advanced Thermoplastics Composites; labor groups like the Spokane Workforce Council and the Machinists Institute; Tribes, local government organizations, and more. With today’s designation, Spokane stands poised to compete for new federal investment and prove that while innovation can happen anywhere, the Pacific Northwest leads the way,” said Washington Senator Maria Cantwell.

The 31 Tech Hubs were selected from 198 applications from regional consortia that include industry, academia, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners. The Tech Hubs span regions across 32 states and Puerto Rico and represent a cross section of urban and rural regions.

For a full list of Tech Hubs, visit TechHubs.gov.

More information www.eda.gov