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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


EDA Investment Highlights Green Innovation as Good Business

December 16, 2016

Caption below
EDA Assistant Secretary Jay Williams playing pickleball at the Composite Recycling Technology Center on December 1, 2016.

The Obama administration has taken unprecedented steps to support workforce development and green initiatives and is deeply committed to strengthening America’s workforce and protecting the environment. One such example of this is the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) recent investment in the Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTR) based in Port Angeles, Washington.  

The CRTR pioneers new products using approximately 1.5 million recycled composites (or carbon fiber scrap) that would otherwise end up in landfills. Through the 2016 Regional Innovations Strategies (RIS) Program, EDA has invested $500,000 to support the CRTR’s Recycled Carbon Fiber Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator Implementation Project.

The Innovation Accelerator will focus on developing high tech sustainable jobs in a rural economy by giving potential inventors and entrepreneurs the help they need to turn their ideas into products people will purchase. Through the accelerator, inventors will also learn how to build and run businesses that will provide good-paying, advanced manufacturing jobs.

One new CRTR invention is the first product in the world manufactured from uncured carbon fiber composite: pickleball paddles. While making pickleball paddles out of carbon fiber composite isn’t new, making them out of scrap carbon fiber composite is groundbreaking.

With support from the EDA investment, the accelerator is set to prove that recycling carbon fiber composite scrap doesn’t just make good environmental sense – it makes good business sense.

To learn more about the CRTR, visit http://www.compositerecycling.org/.

The CRTR is a part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP)’s Puget Sound Regional Council Manufacturing Community and the accelerator project is one of many efforts to strengthen the peninsula community by building a center for clean tech advanced manufacturing. 

This blog is a part of a monthly series highlighting the contributions of the Commerce Department’s agencies to the Open for Business Agenda. This month’s focus is Environment.