Planned technology growth at the Port of Seattle, including Elliott Bay and Fisherman’s Terminal facilities, as well as the Port of Tacoma, will improve services for cruise ships, cargo ships and shipping vessels. Several projects are underway, including expansion of capacity for larger cargo vessels in Tacoma, additional cruise ship capacity in Seattle, support for larger fishing vessels in Seattle, as well as dock upgrades and increased light-industrial space for maritime uses at Fisherman’s Terminal.
In-Depth Article Describes Technology Growth Plans
WorkBoat’s Kirk Moore has written an extensive article based on interviews with port planners, offering insight into the many-faceted plans for technology growth in our area. Read his full article, excerpted below, here. It’s a good read. Mr. Moore describes the Ports’ ideas for innovation:
Port planners are looking for ways to synthesize that tech strength with the city’s legacy maritime industries. One step is a “maritime innovation center” to be co-located with the new north end improvements, with $10.55 million in funding including $5 million from the state of Washington.
The center will be a home for the “blue tech sector,” a space to support emerging maritime technology and workforce development. The idea is modeled on centers in Iceland and the Netherlands, including Port XL, a “maritime accelerator” in Rotterdam. There are 60 different tech accelerator programs in Seattle. Not one of them is focused on maritime.
Maritime Innovation Center Could Transform Fisherman’s Terminal
The Port of Seattle’s post about the proposed Maritime Innovation Center is sparse, but the concept of a facility such as this at Fisherman’s Terminal is quite interesting. It could spark a revitalization of the surrounding area, supporting businesses and drawing those with interest in maritime trades and activities.
A similar program has been in place in Port Townsend with the Northwest Maritime Center. It has become an anchor to the revitalized waterfront downtown neighborhood. It also has become a hub for learning and sharing traditional boat-centric skills, from sailing to boat building.
The Port of Seattle is in the second year of a five-year investment plan designed to make our region a competitive maritime hub. The ideas for technology growth are a big component in these plans.