Port of Seattle to undergo USD 32.6 million transformation

A rendering of planned renovations to the Port of Seattle.

The Port of Seattle Commission has approved USD 32.6 million (EUR 29.7 million) in funding to transform the historic Ship Supply Building at Fishermens Terminal (FT) – one of the oldest existing Port facilities – into a new globally recognized home for maritime innovation and an incubator of blue economy technology.

The Port of Seattle will build the Maritime Innovation Center (MInC) to “reach new cutting-edge, Living Building Challenge (LBC) certifications,” it said in a press release. There are only three currently certified Living Buildings in Seattle.

Additionally, the MInC will serve as headquarters for incubator and accelerator programs that are already helping startups and established businesses refine and scale their work, aiming to help the city tap into the estimated USD 1.5 trillion (EUR 1.37 trillion) generated by the U.S. blue economy each year, the Port of Seattle said.

The transformation of the Ports oldest building into a world-class center is a reflection of the Ports commitment to investing in innovation so that the maritime industry and marine environment will thrive for generations to come,” Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman said. The Maritime Innovation Center will inspire collaboration between entrepreneurs, investors, and workers that will grow our regions blue-green economy by drawing on our heritage to create living wage careers of the future.”

The Port will make companion investments to make Fishermens Terminal easier to navigate and more informative by adding new historical perspectives from a wider array of voices and communities.

“The Port seeks this goal to reach its own sustainability objectives, attract the attention of global industry leaders to Puget Sound, and demonstrate the connection between innovative technologies and the maritime industry,” it said.

In addition to housing incubator and accelerator programs, the MInC will support workforce development programs aimed at ensuring that job opportunities in maritime industries are equitably accessible to all communities.

“By building a stronger maritime ecosystem, the Maritime Innovation Center will ultimately reach hundreds of startups, established businesses, and local would-be workers,” the Port said.

Construction of the MInC is scheduled to begin by the second quarter of 2024 and be completed by the end of 2025.

Similar incubator and accelerator programs, like the New England Ocean Cluster have been developed at other ports and waterfront areas to connect various entrepreneurs, businesses, artists, and other talented individuals in a collaborative space to enhance the regions seafood industry.

Photo courtesy of Port of Seattle


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