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Spokane-Coeur d’Alene Chosen as Regional Technology Hub by U.S. Department of Commerce

By October 23, 2023No Comments
Tech Hub Designation Awarded

The Spokane-Coeur d’Alene region has officially been designated as a Regional Technology Hub by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).  The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center (AAMMC) is now one of 31 Hubs nationwide eligible to compete for Phase 2 of the CHIPS Regional Innovation Hub grants of $50-$75 million.

The AAMMC Aerospace Tech Hub was chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce from nearly 400 applicants nationwide. The 47 member Inland Northwest Consortium – which includes ATC Manufacturing – continues to grow as they prepare for phase 2 competition.

Phase one of the competition designated tech hubs in regions across the country based on consortium proposals that bring together industry, higher education institutions, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners to supercharge ecosystems of innovation for technologies that are essential to our economic and national security.

“Being at the forefront of aerospace manufacturing in the Inland Northwest, ATC Manufacturing takes immense pride in our contribution to this sector. The EDA’s recognition, in collaboration with over 45 regional partners, underscores our collective commitment to aerospace in this region.” stated Jacob Bonwell, CEO of ATC Manufacturing. “This is more than just a designation; it’s a testament to our region’s capabilities and potential.”

This partnership includes Boeing, Blue Origin, Lockheed, and global OEMs and American manufacturers such as Electroimpact, Unitech, Continuous Composites Inc. (CCI), and Advanced Thermoplastic Composites (ATC), working with academics at Gonzaga University, the University of Washington, and the University of Idaho. Many other economic, community, and civic organizations are involved including: AVISTA Energy, local unions, and tribal nations as well as the Departments of Commerce from Washington and Idaho, and dozens more economic and workforce organizations from across the Inland Northwest.”

The focus of this testbed facility will be the development of high-rate manufacturing techniques using advanced materials such as thermoplastic composite (TPC) for aerospace structures such as ribs, beams, doors, bulkheads, and stiffened skins.  The hub will advance these methods through TRL levels six through nine to help them become commercially and widely available much sooner. Due to strong industry backing, the AAMMC hub is expected to achieve financial self-sufficiency within three years and global competitiveness within ten, meeting the standards of the EDA Tech Hub designation.

In the next several weeks, the Department of Commerce will launch phase 2 of the competition, for applicants designated as a Tech Hub to apply for implementation funding.

“In Phase 2, we will invest in regions that have strong potential to lead globally across a wide array of critical and emerging technologies and the people and places that make and deliver these products and services, “ said Eric Smith, the Tech Hubs Program Director at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) in a recent interview.

“In most successful Hubs, we’re going to see these regions—and the industries within them—build and gain market share in particular industries. We also expect to see markers of increased innovation, increased business creation and expansion, and increased investment in these places. We’re looking for market potential—where are there viable commercialization paths for these critical technologies? What regions are building effective interfaces between their engines of innovation and industry that will make them globally competitive and that will result in new, good jobs? We’ll ask these Hubs and ourselves these questions repeatedly as the Hubs put together their Phase 2 project proposals and as we evaluate them.”

Tech Hub Consortium Members: American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center

Aerospace and Industry Leaders

· Advanced Thermoplastics Composites (ATC) Manufacturing

· Avista

· Blue Origin

· Boeing

· Continuous Composites Incorporated (CCI)

· Electroimpact

· Lockheed Martin

· Northwest I-90 Manufacturing Alliance

· Raytheon/Collins

· StanCraft

· Unitech Composites Inc.

· The Composites Consortium (TCC)


Higher Education and Secondary Education

· Gonzaga University

· Coeur d’Alene Public Schools

· Community Colleges of Spokane

· Eastern Washington University

· Elevate Academy North

· Heritage University

· North Idaho College

· Spokane Public Schools

· University of Idaho

· University of Washington

· Washington State University


Venture Development

· Lakeside Companies

· Washington Trust Bank

· Mountain West Bank

Workforce Development and Labor

· Coeur d’Alene Economic Development Corporation

· Idaho Workers Development Council

· International Association of Machinists District 751

· Machinists Institute

· Spokane Workforce Council


Government, Tribes, and Economic Development

· City of Coeur d’Alene

· City of Post Falls

· City of Spokane

· Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber

· Coeur d’Alene Tribe

· Greater Spokane Inc.

· Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce

· Idaho Department of Commerce

· Kalispel Tribe of Indians

· Latino Civic Alliance

· S3R3 Solutions

· Spokane County

· Spokane International Airport

· Spokane Tribe of Indians

· Washington State Department of Commerce

· West Plains Chamber of Commerce


In Coordination with


· Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

· Additional Defense OEMs


General Hub Press Inquiries: [email protected]

ABOUT THE AMERICAN AEROSPACE MATERIALS MANUFACTURING CENTER: The AAMMC is an aerospace technology hub in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene region designated in Phase One of the E.D.A Regional Technology Hubs program. The AAMMC is working to propel America to the forefront of aerospace innovation by establishing a world-class testbed for advancing high-rate manufacturing techniques for next generation aerospace materials and parts. Learn more at

About Advanced Thermoplastic Composites (ATC) Manufacturing: ATC is committed to advancing composites manufacturing and retaining American manufacturing jobs by providing low-cost solutions for lean thermoplastic composite part production at their purpose-built facility in Post Falls, Idaho. ATC is one of the few remaining independent thermoplastic composite suppliers, and maintains ISO 9001:2015, AS9100D and NADCAP certifications. Visit ATC’s website for more information.