The TDC was opened in September 2009 to bring together research and development (through WWU) in partnership with the private sector and practical work-force training for the new technologies (through Bellingham Technical College). The TDC is a 10,000 square foot Port of Bellingham facility that was created by remodeling a portion of a vacant warehouse on the Bellingham Waterfront with a $1 million state Innovation Partnership Zone grant and $700,000 in additional funding.
The TDC features technical work and office spaces for WWU and BTC, as well as shared classroom and conference areas. The TDC work spaces have been designed in a flexible manner, so that a wide range of R&D projects can be accommodated. WWU is using its approximately 5,000 square foot space in the TDC for applied research and development projects in partnership with regional technology companies.
The primary goals for WWU projects in the TDC are the following:
- To provide an R&D space in which technology companies can collaborate with WWU faculty and students on projects that will improve the competitiveness of the companies’ products and/or services.
- To provide technology companies with access to sophisticated instrumentation and technical services via collaborative projects with WWU.
- To provide technology companies opportunities to partner with WWU in pursuit of government grants and contracts to support collaborative R&D projects.
- To provide a collaborative workspace for the local entrepreneurial community to meet for brainstorming sessions and to engage WWU faculty and students in entrepreneurial projects.
The Technology Alliance Group (TAG), a non-profit agency that advocates for regional technology companies, recently relocated its office to a portion of WWU’s space at the TDC. TAG is a strong supporter of technology-focused entrepreneurial activity in the area and is currently working with WWU on an out-reach effort to develop and strengthen partnerships with technology-focused companies throughout northwest Washington.