October 04, 2019
By Emily F. Keller
Fourth Annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference Held in Seattle

The fourth annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference brought leaders from Oregon, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) together to discuss a shared vision for establishing the Cascadia region as a global center of innovation by 2035. The conference took place on October 2-3, 2019 in Seattle.

Speakers included government leaders - Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene of Washington, and Senator Yuen Pau Woo of British Columbia - and company representatives from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Kaiser Permanente Washington, Zymeworks, Alaska Airlines, and Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster. Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, presented the opening keynote address, “Vision: Cascadia 2035.”

Collaborative regional initiatives include academic research on the impacts of wildfires; joint efforts to pursue a potential high-speed rail line connecting Portland, OR, Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC; and the Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative to build a data sharing platform for cancer research. Academic leaders participated in the conference from the University of British Columbia, the University of Washington and Oregon State University.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and BC Premier John Horgan announced the launch of the Clean Grid Initiative on a panel moderated by Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce CEO Marilyn Strickland. As reported by GeekWire, the initiative consists of establishing a working group of government representatives in Washington and BC to study joint opportunities for increasing renewable energy use; establishing a Clean Grid Action Plan with industry, research and stakeholder input; representing the region in collaborations with other governments and organizations; and holding a summit in spring 2020.

The Cascadia Innovation Corridor was launched in 2016 and is co-chaired by Challenge Seattle and the Business Council of British Columbia. The Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative was founded in 2017 to support the vision of regional collaboration through cross-border data analytics applied to urban challenges.