Economic Development and Business Support

The phrase "innovation district" is a popular moniker for network-building, placemaking, R&D ingenuity and economic development--a waypoint where entrepreneurs and researchers cross paths, ignite new ideas and bring them to market.

In 2007, the Washington Department of Commerce designated The University District as an Innovation Partnership Zone to generate economic growth in sectors such as healthcare, technology and manufacturing. As such, The University District increasingly attracts a critical mass of exceptional students, faculty, researchers and creative entrepreneurs whose work catalyses new public-private partnerships, commercialization opportunities, job growth, and overall prosperity.

One of the most significant economic development opportunities for the region is Life Sciences Spokane. Led by Greater Spokane Inc., this initiative promotes the nationally competitive, Intermountain Northwest health sciences sector, a billion-dolloar industry which is projected to grow to $2.5 billion within ten years. The University District is at the heart of that growth trajectory as the fastest growing health sciences campus in North America. Two medical schools (Washington State University's Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and the University of Washington/Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership) as well as the Spokane Teaching Health Center are training the next generation of medical professionals in our area.

Likewise the Andy Hill CARE Fund and  HSSA (Health Sciences & Services Authority) play a key role in promoting bioscience-based economic development in our region and beyond, advancing new therapies and procedures to combat disease and to promote public health.

Other significant work impacting economic development in our area is led by Startup Spokane with its many outstanding resources, programs and events supporting Spokane's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Likewise, Toolbox, across from the McKinstry Innovation Center, is a collaborative center for manufacturing and product-based startups.

The City of Spokane also offers excellent business development incentives to encourage private investment in targeted areas to further economic growth.