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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Auburn urban center for innovative partnerships?

It's about bringing people and ideas together! It's designed as a model for sustainable innovations and new market partnerships through public/private research, workforce development and the reinvention of industrial properties into market affordable mixed use business clusters of diverse types.

Is the goal of the IPZ as another tool to help support business?

It's not that simple; the real goal of Auburn’s IPZ is to create a sustainable model for business & product development, ultimately creating living wage jobs for our citizens and region! The IPZ cannot be simply described as "another tool to support business".

The Auburn IPZ is a complex business plan that brings the cutting-edge ideas and research programs of our great institutions and partners them with the ‘real world’ of manufacturing and business which operates right here daily in Auburn. This communication of ideas encourages business growth, creates new products and ultimately develops new markets.

Under this model, a connection to work force development is also created which ensures that our students and workers are being taught the necessary skills our employers need to implement those new markets in the quickest possible way.

How will my community and my business benefit from this IPZ?
IPZs provide a unique marketing tool and focal point for local economic development. Initially, the statewide IPZ program shared more than $10 million dollars in grant monies to aid with infrastructure improvements, new product development and other administrative needs.

In 2012, our IPZ received a CERB grant to allow us to study the feasibility of a IPZ Training District and a model for a web based communications system linked to the Cloud.

In addition each business located within the zone should consider the IPZ in their business plans and take advantage of the partner relationships with Institutional Research, Workforce Development, other Private Sector Partners and the financial programming which typically follows industries working to bring new products to market.

This IPZ not only makes strong business sense for all participants as a tool to open new markets and opportunities, it also has strong potential to aid companies with raising fiscal capital as well.

Who participates in these innovative partnerships?

The partnerships consist of Private Sector Business, Research Institutions, Workforce Development, and the City of Auburn. Specifically, within the IPZ, Auburn has businesses serving very diverse industrial segments.

IPZ Businesses:

  • Ecosystem & Rainwater Management
  • Aeronautic Technologies
  • Manufacturing Goods & Services
  • Construction Technologies & Services
  • Green Technologies
  • Alternative Energy Product


  • Washington State University
  • Green River College

Workforce Development:

  • Washington State University
  • Green River College
  • Auburn High School District

What is the origin of the IPZ concept?

The IPZ concept is a 'home grown' State of Washington program for economic growth. The Innovation Partnership Zone program was originally created by the State Legislature in 2007 and was assigned to the State Department of Commerce for implementation. The purpose of the program was:

"To establish regional networks that generate new knowledge, encourage business growth, create new jobs, and improve economic infrastructure."

There many IPZ designations in the State of Washington. You can find additional information about the program and the other locations at www.ChooseWashingtonState.com.

How will we gauge the success of the Auburn IPZ?

The IPZ is governed by a comprehensive business plan which requires the tracking of performance measures. As part of our application to the State, the City of Auburn was required to develop a comprehensive Business Plan which will be re-reviewed bi-annually for compliance by the State Department of Commerce.

Our Business Plan outlined requirements for Performance Trend Measures (PTM) which must be tracked and reported regularly to an IPZ Task Force comprised of public and private stakeholders who are directly affected by activities within the IPZ.