Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

On Thursday, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Legal &Corporate Affairs Brad Smith opened the Washington Innovation Summit, an annual day-long conference, which focuses on the key mechanisms that make innovative economies grow. Put on by the Technology Alliance and attended by local technology business leaders, education, economic and government luminaries, Brad gave a keynote addressing the challenges facing Washington in becoming a state that fosters innovation, creates high-impact jobs and the need to make investments in the state’s intellectual infrastructure.

Brad laid out a framework for how to advance the technology-based economic development in Washington, a sector that drives significant growth and economic prosperity, but has the opportunity to do much more. In addition to calling for the need to make investments in education in order to provide youth with the opportunities needed to succeed in an innovation-based economy, Brad noted it is essential to make investments now in the current workforce so that the tech industry’s current talent is positioned to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and changing environment. 

"For the most part, our success story is in many ways a story that has been built on being a magnet for attracting people to come to Washington state from across the country and around the world,” Brad said. “The number one thing we need to think about is the competition for talent.”

In an effort to come together to help advocate for, and push through the necessary changes in policies to make Washington a leading, globally competitive state, the Information Technology Coalition was created by the Washington Technology Industry Alliance and is supported by the Technology Alliance. Microsoft is proud to be a member alongside local innovative companies such as Isilon, Big Fish Games, Inrix and Amazon, among others. Together, through the Information Technology Coalition, we can help move Washington forward and help transform not only the tech industry, but industries such as retail, energy and healthcare.

We invite you to watch Brad’s keynote here.