Technology summit in Tacoma this week

Washington's Innovation Summit will highlight new technologies in Tacoma on Friday.

It’s the first time the five-year conference will be held outside the Seattle area. The Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center will host the event.

“We wanted to make it easier for people traveling from outside of the (Seattle) area to attend,” said Steve Goll, spokesman for the Washington Technology Center, the statewide economic development group coordinating the event.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, and former astronaut Bonnie Dunbar are slated to speak. The energy, aerospace and defense industries will be highlighted.

Mike Schwenk, chairman of the Washington Technology Center board, said the summit highlights “what is new and different going on in the state … and how new ideas have been put into practice.”

The innovation summit aims to bring together people from private business, government and education to network and learn about new technologies, organizers say.

Pierce County speakers are to include Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma Power’s conservation resource manager Stephen Bicker, and JD Fitz , vice president of medical affairs at MultiCare’s Good Samaritan Hospital.

Goll said attendance will likely be down from years past, because of the economy. He anticipates that about 300 people will attend, compared with 383 last year.

People can register online through tonight and in person at the event. The summit costs $230 for the entire day or $50 for just the lunch session.

For more information, or to register, go to

Kelly Kearsley: 253-597-8573