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A Washington native, Robb has been a corporate communications, marketing and advertising professional since 1981, working with a prestigious roster of national and international clients in technology, healthcare, retail, consulting, education, tourism and manufacturing . An award-winning writer and consultant, he has worked extensively in the areas of strategic communication planning, branding, marketing plan development, social media, copywriting, web design and crisis management.

Washington companies increase manufacturing efficiencies.

gaming controllerSometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest impacts. Washington technology companies are helping to improve the efficiency and production in a variety of advanced manufacturing and clean energy applications. For instance, BluHaptics, has developed software that helps control underwater robots. These days robotic operators have often spent their young adult years playing gaming consoles and transferring that skill set to real world applications is a natural. Using laser data and video-game technology, BluHaptics is making it easier and more effective for oil and gas companies and other marine industries to operate robots to clean and fix things underwater. Read more in The Seattle Times.

BluHaptics is one of eight Washington companies that will be attending Hannover Messe, the world’s leading industrial show, as part of the Washington State Department of Commerce delegation. Other Washington State innovators in the delegation include a fiberglass recycler, a producer of biomass energy systems, a developer of imaging technology for monitoring power plants, a producer of clean melting iron and coke free fuels, and a protective coatings company for wind turbines. The work of these Washington State companies increases industry productivity and capabilities, and reduces risk in a variety of industrial and energy production environments.

To learn more about Washington State’s participation in Hannover Messe click here.





Boomtown. Seattle skyline still dotted with cranes.

Seattle building boomThe growth spurt appears to be a strong and steady trend projecting out at least through 2019. The current building boom is primarily apartments for the growing workforce in Seattle. Major corporations are moving into downtown and the city is developing into a live/work and play hot spot. With mountain hiking, skiing and biking less than an hour away, and the ocean an easy drive in the other direction the Puget Sound region has an exceptional quality of life.  Amazon, Google, Facebook,  Weyerhaeuser and other major employers are expanding or moving downtown. Ethnic and fine dining establishments on nearly every corner, art studios and galleries, and live music and dance performance venues create a dynamic live/work environment. Read more in The Seattle Times.

From life sciences and clean energy to technology and advanced manufacturing, from aerospace to outer space the diverse economic drivers in Washington State have spurred a robust recession recovery with no hint of slowdown on the horizon.

Battlefield medicine finds new ally at UW.

University of Washington researchers aim to create the next generation of mannequins, with warm “flesh,” moist “tongues” and other human traits for training battlefield medics.

Thanks to an $8 million research grant from the Department of Defense, doctors at the WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare at the University of Washington Medical Center hope that the mannequins will give military surgical teams more realistic simulations of battlefield injuries and make the use of live animals for training unnecessary.

The prototype, known as Frank as a humorous nod to Frankenstein, is the initial result of the cutting edge research. When perfected in 2019, the lifelike mannequins will feature skin that is warm to the touch, moist tongues, layers of body fat and very human responses to the procedures being performed.

The mannequin is leveraging Washington State’s vast expertise in hardware, software and robotics to create the amazingly lifelike test subject. The project is completely open source, allowing manufacturers and software companies to add capabilities and modules to simulate specific parts of the body or different illnesses or injuries.

Learn more about this new generation of surgical mannequins and the work University of Washington workers are doing to bring it to market.



To the moon (and back).

Workers roll out the first BE-4 engine in the Blue Origin Factory in Washington StateBlue Origin has debuted its new BE-4 engine, which will power a new generation of rockets, including the company’s own New Glenn spacecraft. A follow-on to New Shepard, the New Glenn will have the capability of flying missions to the moon.

The new engines were built in Blue Origin’s Kent production facility and will undergo testing soon at the company’s West Texas test range. After it passes those tests, it will be used on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, scheduled to replace the Atlas V.

The engine will also be used to power Blue Origin’s New Glenn family of rockets, which are currently in development. New Glenn is not only designed for orbital missions, but translunar missions as well. Missions to the moon would also utilize the company’s BE-3 engine for the second stage.

The company has already secured its first customer for the New Glenn, Eutelsat Communications. Eutelsat’s satellite will provide coverage for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

The BE-4 is just another shining example of Washington’s growing space sector.

Read more about Blue Origin’s BE-4 rocket engine and the company’s plans for the future.

U.S. News touts Washington’s business advantages.

Amazon's new spheres take shape in downtown Seattle, part of the state's big building boomSuperlatives can only do so much. Sometimes it takes a national news magazine to capture the very essence of Washington’s competitive strengths, from our diversified industries and cross-collaboration between businesses to our investments in STEM and higher education, building new infrastructure and encouraging entrepreneurship in cities large and small.

While the Puget Sound area continues to be a hotspot for information and communication technology, other parts of the state are also enjoying new economic growth, often in unexpected ways, such as big data or aircraft maintenance and testing where agriculture once dominated the landscape.

Check out U.S. News & World Report’s story on what is driving Washington’s economy and why businesses worldwide should be considering the state as a place to grow, invest or do business with.




Washington State: Best in the West, Fifth in U.S.

Seattle skyline and Mt RainierThe recent ranking of Best States across the country by U.S. News and World Report puts Washington # 5 using 60 metrics comparing economy, healthcare, infrastructure, education, crime/corrections, government and opportunity.  And, Washington ranks well above other West coast states. But then, Washington residents and business owners already knew that. An exceptional quality of life, robust economy, a culture of collaboration and innovation, a highly educated workforce and cutting edge healthcare have been a hallmark of Washington’s success. Read more about the data at The Seattle Times.

Mini microscope in your pocket.

microscopic imageEver wish you could look really close at something  you just found? Thanks to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington now you can. Or better yet, a doctor in a remote area can whip out a smartphone or tablet and take a close look at a microscopic organism that just might help save a life. Firefighters or police can use the mini-microscope to examine potentially dangerous powder on-site without waiting for lab results. With a 3-D printer and publicly available plans provided by PNNL anyone can make the housing required to turn their phone or tablet into a microscope. This has also become a great teaching tool for young science students discovering the microscopic world. Read more in the Tri-City Herald.

The Pacific Northwest National Lab (one of 10 national labs in the country) is doing cutting edge research and helping to move innovation into the marketplace. In concert with other major public research institutions, such as University of Washington and Washington State University, PNNL is one of the state’s pioneering  research centers in technology, clean energy and advanced manufacturing.

To learn more about robust research ecosystem in Washington State contact

Apple tackles AI in Seattle.

A cyborg represents the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning at AppleApple has announced plans to expand its engineering offices in Seattle. In addition to working on projects related to Maps, iCloud and iTunes, the team will tackle artificial intelligence and machine learning for a new generation of apps and services for its devices.

The company also announced a $1 million endowed professorship at the University of Washington in artificial intelligence and machine learning to increase its growing partnership with the area’s research community.

The expansion is the latest indication that Washington State is fast becoming a leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning, leveraging the area’s expertise in software, hardware, cloud computing and big data. Companies at the forefront of AI and machine learning include Amazon and Microsoft, supported by researchers at the UW and organizations such as the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Read more about Apple’s expansion plans in Washington and the state’s leadership role in artificial intelligence.

Building better, bigger rockets.

New Glenn RocketWashington State has been a leader in aerospace manufacturing for over a century. And, as the design of spacecraft, rockets and booster systems grows in the state, so does the manufacturing side of the equation.

Blue Origin, one of several Washington-based space companies, is expanding their operations with additional manufacturing space for their next generation, more powerful New Glenn rocket. The planned 236,000-square-foot warehouse complex and 102,900 square feet of office space are southwest of Blue Origin’s current headquarters and rocket production facility in Kent, just south of Seattle.Read more about the company’s planned expansion in Geekwire.

Building on the depth of experience in aerospace and the breadth of high-tech and advanced manufacturing expertise, engineers in Washington State with an eye towards space have been building an eco-system of successful space pioneers. Blue Origin, Vulcan Enterprises, Planetary Resources, SpaceX, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Tethers Unlimited are some of the more well-known space explorers in Washington.

To learn more about our growing space cluster contact


A safer way to play.

Concussions are a major problem in modern-day sports, from head-to-head tackles in football to players making all-star headers on the soccer field.

After more than three years of research and development, Washington State startup Vicis is ready to take the issue head on with its new line of impact-reduction helmets and headgear slated to undergo real-world testing this spring.

Taking a page from car bumper innovations, the company has designed a new multi-layered helmet with crush zones that absorb most of the impact.

The vast majority of the top 25 college football teams will take the new helmet for a spin during spring practice, including the University of Alabama and the University of Washington. Ten NFL teams have also signed on to try out the helmets in offseason training.

Read more about the new helmets in the Puget Sound Business Journal.