6th Annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference




SEPTEMBER 12-13, 2022

Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine, Washington


Over September 12 and 13, 2022, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor (CIC) community gathered at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA for the 6th Annual CIC Conference.

At a time when our region is facing wildfires, record heat, drought and water shortages, and flooding, the 2022 event explored meaningful actions and impactful solutions that leverage our shared strengths, talents, and innovations to address climate change within Cascadia, and beyond.

Elected leaders from up and down the Pacific Coast participated, including Governor Jay Inslee (Washington), Premier John Horgan (British Columbia), Governor Kate Brown (Oregon); and Governor Gavin Newsom (California). Featured speakers included Bob Keefe, Executive Director, E2 and Author , President and Vice Chair at Microsoft, Brad Smith; Sherri Goodman from the Wilson Center and Center for Climate and Security; Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority, Steve Metruck, Executive Director, Port of Seattle and Curtis Robinhold, Executive Director, Port of Portland. We also heard from the Chief Sustainability Officers from some of Cascadia’s largest companies and leaders advancing Cascadia’s Ultra High Speed Ground Transportation project.

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Vancouver, B.C., Seattle and Portland have much in common: unsurpassed beauty; proximity to Asia; and market-leading capabilities in key economic sectors. By linking these cities, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor will create opportunity and prosperity beyond what they and their surrounding regions could achieve independently. Together, we can be the world’s most sustainable mega-region and a leader in innovative solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges, including climate change. Together, we are the Cascadia Innovation Corridor.


2021 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference


On November 16th and 17th, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor community gathered together at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre to celebrate the strengths and innovative spirit of our megaregion and highlight opportunities to build a sustainable corridor for the future. The conference was our first opportunity to gather in-person since 2019 and strengthen our cross-border relationships.

Speakers from both sides of the border included:

  • Jennifer Granholm, United States Secretary of Energy
  • Premier John Horgan, Province of British Columbia
  • Governor Jay Inslee, State of Washington
  • Governor Kate Brown, State of Oregon
  • The Honourable Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, Province of British Columbia
  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, Province of British Columbia
  • Kim Baird, Indigenous Leader and Former Chief, Tsawwassen First Nation
  • Aria Hahn, Ph.D., CEO, Koonkie
  • Steve Mantle, Founder and CEO,
  • Simon Dixon, Partner and Global Transportation Lead, Deloitte
  • Marko Gasic, Vice President, Planning and Improvement, Mosaic Forest Management
  • Ryan Peterson, Vice President, Accelerate Solutions, Unity Technologies
  • Brian Cladoosby, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
  • Ali Meyers, Director, Human Resources, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
  • Paula Hammond, Market Leader, Multimodal, WSP
  • Bill Tam, Co-Founder and COO, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster
  • Tom Davidoff, Ph.D., Director, UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate
  • Amy Snover, Ph.D., Director, Climate Impacts Group, Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center
  • Chris Sands, Ph.D., Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Centre

Click here for the speaker biographies.

These speakers, and more, canvassed broad sustainability opportunities in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor including the sustainability of our cross-border relationships and how we can keep our border open in the future, the sustainability of available talent and the sustainability of our community health. We also examined how we sustainably build out the Cascadia region as we anticipate 3-4 million more people moving to the region by 2050. And following the COP26 conference, we looked at the innovations and work taking place in this region that are making a difference in the global fight against climate change.

The CIC conference has met and exceeded the required COVID-19 safety protocols as set out by the Provincial Health Officer, including requiring all attendees to show proof of full vaccination, requiring the use of masks, and providing hand sanitizer throughout the venue.





2021 Virtual Forums

Meeting the Net Zero Decarbonization Challenge

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

In response to our federal Clean Canada plan to be net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and B.C.’s legislated 80% reduction target, considerable efforts must be made by governments, academia, and private sector to create, find and implement innovative solutions to reduce atmospheric carbon. The Cascadia region, with its wealth of clean energy assets, nature-based carbon capture opportunities and culture of environmental stewardship is well-poised to be a North American leader in this effort.

The University of VictoriaCanada’s Digital Technology Supercluster and the Cascadia Innovation Corridor have teamed up to engage in an expert panel and ideation workshop to discuss these challenges and the related opportunities.


Cascadia’s Transformative Tech: Innovating Across Borders

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Cascadia region has a deeply rooted reputation as a hotspot for tech and innovation from aerospace to personal computers to gaming, cloud computing and virtual reality. Today, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor is a global cluster of tech talent and capital and has grown leading firms in quantum computing, blockchain and augmented reality.

All of these technologies serve a global – and local – client base and enable innovative solutions and economic growth across sectors including agriculture, resource development, life sciences and transportation.

The third 2021 virtual forum, Cascadia’s Transformative Tech: Innovating Across Borders, included a virtual conversation with tech leaders whose firms exemplify the benefits and opportunities created by the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. Together, we explored how quantum, blockchain and augmented reality are defining the region, how these technologies are supporting our traditional sectors and the environment, and how they are influencing the workplace as we transition through the pandemic.




Modern Ecocities in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

As the Cascadia region anticipates welcoming as many as 4 million more people in the coming decades, cities, businesses and post-secondary institutions across the Pacific Northwest are exploring how to work together to build more modern, sustainable communities. Through meaningful partnerships, municipalities, citizens and local industries can create more livable urban spaces and close their sustainability gaps. The Cascadia Corridor has already embarked on shared sustainability endeavours such as the Pacific Coast Collaborative and the Hydrogen Highway. How do we continue to advance partnerships and participation in the development of the future?

The second 2021 virtual forum, Modern Ecocities in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, focuses on developing more sustainable cities and the training and educational tools available to support those efforts, including micro-credentialing. Speakers included Manager, Municipal Programs at BCIT’s Centre for Ecocities, Cora Hallsworth who introduced the concept of modern ecocities and bridge into a discussion among city sustainability leaders, industry and educators from B.C., Washington and Oregon on new approaches and ways to collaborate to achieve shared sustainability goals.




ULI Northwest: Cascadia – The Next 5,000,000 People


Episode 1 / Designing the Cascadia Megaregion 

Friday, April 16th, 2021

Featuring Jonathan Barnett (Professor Emeritus of Practice in City & Regional Planning, Univ. of Penn.), author of Designing the Megaregion


Episode 2 / Accelerating Connection and Recovery

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Featuring Rep. Seth Moulton (MA 6th District) and Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA 1st District), co-sponsors of the American High Speed Rail Act


Episode 3 / Regional Planning & Megaregion Analysis

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

Featuring Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle & Former Washington State Governor, Eric Sparks, Partner, Boston Consulting Group, and Lynn Peterson, Council President, Oregon Metro.


Cascadia life sciences leading in the global fight against COVID-19

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s first virtual forum of 2021, Cascadia life sciences leading in the global fight against COVID-19, was co-hosted by David Grossman, M.D., M.P.H. National Senior Medical Director for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente and Lesley Esford, Ph.D., life sciences industry expert, and Co-Chairs of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Sub-Committee on Life Sciences. The forum featured many local life sciences leaders from the front lines of the COVID-19 battle, including two panel discussions, one of which focused on Cascadia’s involvement in the development of COVID-19 diagnostics, R&D and testing implementation experiences in the region and the second focused on vaccine research and therapeutics development for COVID-19 happening in B.C. and Washington State.

Researchers, life sciences companies and health care professionals in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor have played a leading role in the global fight against COVID-19. The development of treatments, diagnostics, vaccine technology and the coordination of vaccine trials continues to advance at a rapid pace due in part to local leadership and collaboration across the Pacific Northwest.



2020 Virtual Forums

Sustainable Agri-foods and Agri-tech in Cascadia

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s hosted the Sustainable Agri-foods and Agri-tech in Cascadia virtual forum which explored COVID-19’s impact on supply chains for local producers, buyers, and our emergency food system, as well as how the growing agri-tech sector is expanding opportunities for local farmers.

The session was hosted by the Co-chairs of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor sub-committee on sustainable agriculture, Dr. Rickey Yada, Dean of UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Chad Kruger, Director, Western Washington College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resources Sciences.





Wildfires and urban smoke know no borders

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Wildfires and urban smoke know no borders – A cross-border collaboration on research and management approaches: The October 27th forum featured forestry management researchers, government officials, conservationists and academics from all along the West Coast of Canada and the U.S.A. for a discussion on wildfires and urban smoke.  The conversation canvassed topics including the risk of wildfire in urbanized wet forests, how universities can help guide the translation of forest management science into climate-smart public policy, and how to minimize future carbon emissions, wildfire damage and smoke impacts on health while also supporting a growing bioeconomy.




Connecting the Cascadia Corridor

Friday, October 9, 2020

Cascadia Vision 2050 report which offered recommendations on how the mega-region can serve as a global model for sustainable growth.

With new analysis from Boston Consulting Group, the report and forum examined challenges faced by today’s high-growth mega-regions associated with maximizing opportunity while managing environmental impact, the availability of affordable housing and congestion. Forum participants explored a bold approach to sustainable growth in Cascadia which proposed building hub cities on underdeveloped lands and connecting them to the larger centers via high-speed transit.

This report and forum examine how the Cascadia region can sustainably manage its growth while continuing to elevate its global significance as a center for opportunity, inclusivity, innovation and investment. Cascadia can build a more sustainable future and set a global example by being the first to address these challenges with a cohesive, mega-regional approach to growth.





Innovating International Travel

Tuesday, September 15, 2020  

Innovating International Travel, co-hosted by Dr. Laurie Trautman of Western Washington University and Matt Morrison of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, Co-chairs of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s sub-committee on efficient cross-border movement. As we collectively manage the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in our region, Cascadia is well-positioned to provide leadership and build confidence in the development of new, safe global standards for international travel. The first of our virtual forums explored how the assets and ongoing pilot projects in the Cascadia region can be levered to create new solutions and the opportunity for border regions to help craft international health preclearance protocols.




2019 Conference Speakers Included:


– Brad Smith, President & Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft

– Susan Mullaney, President of Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Washington

– Kevin McAllister, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes

– Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines & Chairman of the Board of Airlines for America

– Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster

– Lisa Brown, Director of Washington State Department of Commerce

– Marilyn Strickland, CEO of Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

– John Cook, Co-Founder & Publisher of Geekwire

– Farhan Mohamed, Editor-in-Chief & Partner of Daily Hive

– Emily Parkhurst, Publisher & Market President of Puget Sound Business Journal


2018 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference Materials

Regional leaders convened for the third annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference, held in Vancouver, British Columbia on October 9-10, 2018. The conference built upon cross-border connections that have been developed over the previous two years. Highlights included: a Seattle to Vancouver seaplane service, ongoing feasibility studies of high-speed rail connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, collaboration among polytechnic institutions throughout Cascadia, and the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative.


     Press Release: Regional Leaders Convene to Strengthen Canadian and US Cross-Border Ties in Cascadia Innovation Corridor


     Agenda: 2018 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference


     2018 Conference Speakers

2017 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference Materials

The second annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference was held in Seattle, Washington on September 12-13, 2017 with a growing list of partners including Microsoft, The BC Tech Association, The Business Council of British Columbia, The Washington Roundtable, The Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Tech Association.


     Agenda: 2017 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference


     Media Feature: Seattle Times


     Blog: Today in Technology: The border that has an arch instead of a wall


     Article: Students’ create something really incredible in broader aim to help two cross-border cities thrive together


2016 Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference Materials

The Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia brought together business and government leaders to explore the potential for joint partnerships in education, transportation, university research, human capital and other areas over the weekend of September 19-21, 2016. The conference was jointly hosted by the Business Council of British Columbia, the Washington Roundtable and Microsoft Corp.

Leaders on both sides of the border acknowledged the opportunity to create a single interconnected region that could be more competitive in today’s global economy and took immediate action today to deepen relationships and strengthen partnerships.


     Press Release: New Regional Effort Aims to Establish Cascadia Innovation Corridor


     Working Paper: Cascadia High-Speed Rail Opportunity


    Province of British Columbia and Washington State Memorandum of Understanding


     News Release: Province of British Columbia


     News Release: Washington State


     Blog: An idea whose time has come: A new Cascadia Innovation Corridor connecting Vancouver and Seattle


     Blog: Next Generation Washington: Our perspective on this year’s state legislative agenda


Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference

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