New designation will forward 5G technology
Bellevue joined a select number of Washington localities today as one of the state’s Innovation Partnership Zones. The formal designation comes from the state Department of Commerce and includes funding to support the development of cutting-edge technologies and encourage cooperation between key partners to spur economic growth. The latest designation in Bellevue specifically focuses on supporting the implementation of 5G technologies.
“Bellevue and the Eastside have been at the forefront of the telecommunications industry for decades, partnering with wireless pioneers to build the foundation for our high-quality technology ecosystem,” said Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak. “That innovative spirit and collaboration continue as we work to accelerate 5G development and keep our region at the center of the industry. Bellevue has embraced 5G, and having the new Innovation Partnership Zone in our backyard is exciting news.”
The state has more than a dozen IPZs in cities from Spokane to Aberdeen, each with unique growth goals in key sectors including manufacturing, global health and technology. Along with adding the Bellevue 5G IPZ, the Department of Commerce renewed six of the existing IPZ designations in the state for additional four-year designation terms.
“I congratulate our newest member of the Innovation Partnership Zones and the ongoing successes of the others in our vibrant IPZ community,” said Lisa Brown, state Commerce director.
The Innovation Partnership Zones program was created in 2007 by Governor Christine Gregoire and the state Legislature. Its goal is to stimulate the growth of industry clusters and build regional economies. IPZs seek to empower regions to form partnerships between research entities, private sector partners and workforce training to collaborate and develop commercially viable technologies. The Department of Commerce has more information on the program.
The news compliments Bellevue’s strong efforts to advance 5G in the community. Earlier this year the City Council adopted a master license agreement template for deploying small-cell technology, which is associated with 5G, in city rights of way. The streamlined changes were made in response to new Federal Communication Commission requirements and involved a collaborative stakeholder discussion with wireless providers.