Today in GeekWire, contributing editor Alan Boyle reported on Maritime Blue’s receipt of a $500,000 award in the first stage of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Maritime Blue is a public-private coalition based in Washington state and focused on decarbonizing the maritime industry.

First Mode is proud to be one of Maritime Blue’s industry partners, and looks forward to contributing our expertise in zero-emission technologies and vehicles to the initiative. Article excerpt:

Maritime Blue, a Washington state public-private coalition focusing on environmentally friendly technologies for the maritime industry, has been awarded $500,000 in the first stage of a clean-tech challenge funded by the federal government.

Sixty finalists were selected nationwide to go on to the next stage of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, backed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. Maritime Blue is the only Washington state finalist.

… In the next phase of the regional challenge, Maritime Blue will prepare a final proposal for submission to the Economic Development Administration by next March. That proposal, and others submitted by the finalists in the challenge, will be considered for up to $100 million in implementation funding.

“This is an incredible achievement for the Maritime Blue team and all coalition members and partners involved in the Build Back Better efforts,” Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, said in a news release. “As the consortium led by Maritime Blue moves on to the final phase, we’re proud to see Washington state’s commitment to building a clean energy and Blue Economy future recognized, especially because this shows the potential of our emerging innovation cluster strategy.”

Among the partners in Maritime Blue are businesses including Janicki Industries and First Mode, research institutions including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory, and public entities including the Washington State Department of Commerce and the Port of Seattle.

Seattle-based First Mode is an engineering firm best-known for focusing on space missions, but it also works on hydrogen-based power systems for vehicles including ore-hauling trucks and desert race cars.

“First Mode is proud to contribute its expertise in the development of zero-emission vehicles to Maritime Blue,” Rhae Adams, the company’s chief operating officer, told GeekWire. “With abundant hydroelectric power, the Pacific Northwest is a prime location for decarbonization projects, from rail and ferries to green hydrogen generation and port operations.”

Adams said Maritime Blue’s selection as a finalist in the Build Back Better Regional Challenge “is a clear message that the Pacific Northwest is at the core of the United States’ efforts to create a sustainable future for generations to come.”

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