TwispWorks was recently selected by the Washington State Department of Commerce for a $50,000 grant to help bolster the regional economy. TwispWorks is one of only four organizations in the state selected for the grant, which will be used to examine the feasibility of developing an “innovation cluster” in the Methow Valley.
According to the Department of Commerce (DOC), an innovation cluster is “an industry-led consortium that works together to drive innovation, pursue market opportunities, and identify and solve challenges that limit growth.” TwispWorks, along with a team of community partners, will use the DOC’s “Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program” to examine the possibility of developing a circular economy cluster in the Methow Valley.
Circular economy refers to an economic model that emphasizes the sustainable use of natural resources, a reduction in the amount of waste generated through normal economic activity, and the creation of new products and modes of production and consumption that represent a departure from the traditional, linear, “take, make, waste,” model of economic activity.
The grant is for one year and will provide workshops, training, and strategic guidance to TwispWorks and a core team of community stakeholders. It will help the team identify areas of growth and constraints in the regional economy when it comes to implementing a more circular approach to economic development. The core team includes Methow Recycles, WasteWise Methow, Methow Cycle & Sport, and other local leaders from the business community, the nonprofit community, government, and academia.
Kiana Oos, a fellow at TwispWorks through Western Washington University’s Sustainability Pathways program, will also assist in the circular economy research.
Learn more about the Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program here at the Washington Department of Commerce website.