- Tech Hubs
WASHINGTON, DC — The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), today announced that the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub (“PNW Tech Hub”) in Oregon and 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.
The PNW Tech Hub, a consortium led by Oregon State University, will build off the region’s wood products research and development expertise and density of architectural, engineering, and construction firms, to position mass timber as a viable and sustainable construction alternative. This, in turn, will lower the construction industry’s carbon footprint while increasing housing affordability.
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.”
“Today’s tech hub announcements are an exciting marker of progress in Oregon's work to boost our technological industry with the goal of creating more jobs and finding innovative ways to strengthen our economy,” said Oregon Governor Tina Kotek. “Thanks to the partnership and support of the Biden Administration and our congressional delegation, these awards will propel Oregon to meet our prosperity goals.”
“The announcement of a new Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub is a well-deserved recognition of our region’s efforts to bridge our legacy timber industries with our innovative sustainable building materials sector. The CHIPS and Science Act is helping us build our competitive edge and we appreciate the support of our congressional delegation in ensuring President Biden’s Investing in America Act includes investments in Washington state,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
“Oregon’s longstanding leadership in wood products is now writing a new and exciting chapter with mass timber,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. “I’m gratified that OSU has secured this highly competitive designation from the CHIPS & Science Act that I was proud to support. I know this will keep our state at the forefront of mass timber innovation to generate jobs while helping to build much-needed housing in a sustainable way.”
“Researchers at Oregon State University and its partners have been leading the effort to develop cutting-edge mass timber that will benefit the environment, create jobs, stimulate rural economies, and make housing more affordable. Addressing the climate crisis must include making our built environment more sustainable. Having this tech hub in the Pacific NW will benefit the region and the country as we work to build more affordable, climate-smart structures,” said Representative Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01).
“The Pacific Northwest is poised to play a critical role in the development of sustainable building materials,” said Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03). “Mass timber is the key to a low carbon, sustainable future. I am pleased with the Biden Administration’s selection of the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub. It recognizes that Oregon already has a great deal of experience and some terrific mass timber projects. This will further reinforce our progress and our prospects for the future. I look forward to tracking the progress with the Oregon State University, the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition, and many others.”
“Today’s designation of the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub underscores the unmatched potential of our region in pioneering sustainable solutions,” said Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “By leveraging the expertise of folks in our communities, academia, and local industry, we’re positioning mass timber – including cross-laminated timber – at the forefront of construction innovation while also creating jobs, bolstering national security, and reaffirming our region’s commitment to a greener, more affordable future for all Americans.”
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.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.