61st Legislature
2009 Regular Session

Passed by the House February 23, 2009
  Yeas 96   Nays 0

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate April 3, 2009
  Yeas 44   Nays 0

President of the Senate

I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1128 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington



Passed Legislature - 2009 Regular Session
State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By House Community & Economic Development & Trade (originally sponsored by Representatives Kenney, Bailey, Pettigrew, Chase, Hudgins, Haler, Hasegawa, Darneille, Kelley, and Sullivan)

READ FIRST TIME 02/10/09.   

     AN ACT Relating to innovation partnership zones; and amending RCW 43.330.270 and 43.330.280.


Sec. 1   RCW 43.330.270 and 2007 c 227 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The department shall design and implement an innovation partnership zone program through which the state will encourage and support research institutions, workforce training organizations, and globally competitive companies to work cooperatively in close geographic proximity to create commercially viable products and jobs.
The director shall designate innovation partnership zones on the basis of the following criteria:
     (a) Innovation partnership zones must have three types of institutions operating within their boundaries, or show evidence of planning and local partnerships that will lead to dense concentrations of these institutions:
     (i) Research capacity in the form of a university or community college fostering commercially valuable research, nonprofit institutions creating commercially applicable innovations, or a national laboratory;
     (ii) Dense proximity of globally competitive firms in a research-based industry or industries or of individual firms with innovation strategies linked to (a)(i) of this subsection. A globally competitive firm may be signified through international organization for standardization 9000 or 1400 certification, or other recognized evidence of international success; and
     (iii) Training capacity either within the zone or readily accessible to the zone. The training capacity requirement may be met by the same institution as the research capacity requirement, to the extent both are associated with an educational institution in the proposed zone.
     (b) The support of a local jurisdiction, a research institution, an educational institution, an industry or cluster association, a workforce development council, and an associate development organization, port, or chamber of commerce;
     (c) Identifiable boundaries for the zone within which the applicant will concentrate efforts to connect innovative researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, industry associations or clusters, and training providers. The geographic area defined should lend itself to a distinct identity and have the capacity to accommodate firm growth;
     (d) The innovation partnership zone administrator must be an economic development council, port, workforce development council, city, or county.
     (((2))) (3) With respect solely to the research capacity required in subsection (2)(a)(i) of this section, the director may waive the requirement that the research institution be located within the zone. To be considered for such a waiver, an applicant must provide a specific plan that demonstrates the research institution's unique qualifications and suitability for the zone, and the types of jointly executed activities that will be used to ensure ongoing, face-to-face interaction and research collaboration among the zone's partners.
On October 1st of each odd-numbered year, the director shall designate innovation partnership zones on the basis of applications that meet the legislative criteria, estimated economic impact of the zone, evidence of forward planning for the zone, and other criteria as recommended by the Washington state economic development commission. Estimated economic impact must include evidence of anticipated private investment, job creation, innovation, and commercialization. The director shall require evidence that zone applicants will promote commercialization, innovation, and collaboration among zone residents.
     (((3))) (5) Innovation partnership zones are eligible for funds and other resources as provided by the legislature or at the discretion of the governor.
     (((4))) (6) If the innovation partnership zone meets the other requirements of the fund sources, then the zone is eligible for the following funds relating to:
     (a) The local infrastructure financing tools program;
     (b) The sales and use tax for public facilities in rural counties; and
     (c) Job skills.
     (((5))) (7) An innovation partnership zone shall be designated as a zone for a four-year period. At the end of the four-year period, the zone must reapply for the designation through the department.
     (((6))) (8) If the director finds at any time after the initial year of designation that an innovation partnership zone is failing to meet the performance standards required in its contract with the department, the director may withdraw such designation and cease state funding of the zone.
The department shall convene annual information sharing events for innovation partnership zone administrators and other interested parties.
     (((7))) (10) An innovation partnership zone shall provide performance measures as required by the director, including but not limited to private investment measures, job creation measures, and measures of innovation such as licensing of ideas in research institutions, patents, or other recognized measures of innovation.
     (11) The department shall compile a biennial report on the innovation partnership zone program by December 1st of every even-numbered year. The report shall provide information for each zone on its: Objectives; funding, tax incentives, and other support obtained from public sector sources; major activities; partnerships; performance measures; and outcomes achieved since the inception of the zone or since the previous biennial report. The Washington state economic development commission shall review ((annually the individual innovation partnership zone's performance measures and make recommendations to the department regarding additional zone designation criteria)) the department's draft report and make recommendations on ways to increase the effectiveness of individual zones and the program overall. The department shall submit the report, including the commission's recommendations, to the governor and legislature beginning December 1, 2010.

Sec. 2   RCW 43.330.280 and 2007 c 227 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The Washington state economic development commission shall, with the advice of an innovation partnership advisory group selected by the commission((, have oversight responsibility for the implementation of the state's efforts to further innovation partnerships throughout the state. The commission shall)):
     (a) Provide information and advice to the department of community, trade, and economic development to assist in the implementation of the innovation partnership zone program, including criteria to be used in the selection of grant applicants for funding;
     (b) Document clusters of companies throughout the state that have comparative competitive advantage or the potential for comparative competitive advantage, using the process and criteria for identifying strategic clusters developed by the working group specified in subsection (2) of this section;
     (c) Conduct an innovation opportunity analysis to identify (i) the strongest current intellectual assets and research teams in the state focused on emerging technologies and their commercialization, and (ii) faculty and researchers that could increase their focus on commercialization of technology if provided the appropriate technical assistance and resources;
     (d) Based on its findings and analysis, and in conjunction with the higher education coordinating board and research institutions:
     (i) Develop a plan to build on existing, and develop new, intellectual assets and innovation research teams in the state in research areas where there is a high potential to commercialize technologies. The commission shall present the plan to the governor and legislature by December 31, ((2007)) 2009. The higher education coordinating board shall be responsible for implementing the plan in conjunction with the publicly funded research institutions in the state. The plan shall address the following elements and such other elements as the commission deems important:
     (A) Specific mechanisms to support, enhance, or develop innovation research teams and strengthen their research and commercialization capacity in areas identified as useful to strategic clusters and innovative firms in the state;
     (B) Identification of the funding necessary for laboratory infrastructure needed to house innovation research teams;
     (C) Specification of the most promising research areas meriting enhanced resources and recruitment of significant entrepreneurial researchers to join or lead innovation research teams;
     (D) The most productive approaches to take in the recruitment, in the identified promising research areas, of a minimum of ten significant entrepreneurial researchers over the next ten years to join or lead innovation research teams;
     (E) Steps to take in solicitation of private sector support for the recruitment of entrepreneurial researchers and the commercialization activity of innovation research teams; and
     (F) Mechanisms for ensuring the location of innovation research teams in innovation partnership zones;
     (ii) Provide direction for the development of comprehensive entrepreneurial assistance programs at research institutions. The programs may involve multidisciplinary students, faculty, entrepreneurial researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors in building business models and evolving business plans around innovative ideas. The programs may provide technical assistance and the support of an entrepreneur-in-residence to innovation research teams and offer entrepreneurial training to faculty, researchers, undergraduates, and graduate students. Curriculum leading to a certificate in entrepreneurship may also be offered;
     (e) Develop performance measures to be used in evaluating the performance of innovation research teams, the implementation of the plan and programs under (d)(i) and (ii) of this subsection, and the performance of innovation partnership zone grant recipients, including but not limited to private investment measures, business initiation measures, job creation measures, and measures of innovation such as licensing of ideas in research institutions, patents, or other recognized measures of innovation. The performance measures developed shall be consistent with the economic development commission's comprehensive plan for economic development and its standards and metrics for program evaluation. The commission shall report to the legislature and the governor by ((December 31, 2008)) June 30, 2009, on the measures developed; and
     (f) Using the performance measures developed, perform a biennial assessment and report, the first of which shall be due December 31, 2012, on:
     (i) Commercialization of technologies developed at state universities, found at other research institutions in the state, and facilitated with public assistance at existing companies;
     (ii) Outcomes of the funding of innovation research teams and recruitment of significant entrepreneurial researchers;
     (iii) Comparison with other states of Washington's outcomes from the innovation research teams and efforts to recruit significant entrepreneurial researchers; and
     (iv) Outcomes of the grants for innovation partnership zones.
The report shall include recommendations for modifications of chapter 227, Laws of 2007 and of state commercialization efforts that would enhance the state's economic competitiveness.
     (2) The economic development commission and the workforce training and education coordinating board shall jointly convene a working group to:
     (a) Specify the process and criteria for identification of substate geographic concentrations of firms or employment in an industry and the industry's customers, suppliers, supporting businesses, and institutions, which process will include the use of labor market information from the employment security department and local labor markets; and
     (b) Establish criteria for identifying strategic clusters which are important to economic prosperity in the state, considering cluster size, growth rate, and wage levels among other factors.

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