Accelerating the Transition to Next-Generation Nuclear Energy Technologies

VERTical Innovation Cluster

VERTical is a vast coalition driving next-generation nuclear power deployment by convening collaborative project groups to solve industrywide challenges.

Administered by Port of Benton, VERTical is based in the Northwest, the most robust clean energy region in the U.S., with experienced developers, operators and workers alongside researchers and trailblazers.

Our collective efforts contribute to decarbonization goals, energy efficiency, equity and resiliency for communities everywhere.

Northwest Advanced Clean Energy Park

VERTical is collaborating with City of Richland, Port of Benton, Tri-City Development Council, Clean Energy Supplier Alliance and other partners to establish the Northwest Advanced Clean Energy Park in Tri-Cities, Washington.

The Opportunity: A VERTical (Green) Economy

The VERTical coalition will serve as a catalyst to accelerate the transition to next-generation nuclear power and stimulate economic growth first in the Northwest, then across the U.S.

As the drive to decarbonize the economy accelerates, our region is uniquely poised to lead the nation in next-generation nuclear power generation – an essential part of a sustainable, all-of-the-above clean energy strategy.

VERTical's Coalition

Infographic showing Clean Energy Innovation Hub at the center with the following industries spoked off of it: Industry, Labor Organizations, Public Agencies, Tribes & Municipalities, Utilities, Economic Development Entities, Entrepreneurs, Research Institutions, Education & Training Institutions, Finance & Investors

VERTical's Priorities

We’re leveraging our shared strengths in advanced clean energy research, innovation, development and operation to advance the following priorities identified through stakeholder input and ongoing engagement.

Facilitate next-generation nuclear energy reactor demonstration and deployment projects.

Rebuild and modernize the U.S. supply chain for next-generation nuclear in partnership with the Clean Energy Supplier Alliance.

Ready the industry’s future nuclear energy skilled trades and professional workforce to create a talent pipeline.

What Are Innovation Clusters

An Innovation Cluster is an industry-led organization that uses a proven international model to power innovation, go after market opportunities and identify and fix challenges that limit growth within a specified sector of the economy.

Coalition members collaborate to meet industry challenges and be competitive in their sector’s marketplace.

Attract talent, capital & high-value jobs

Train students and upskill the existing workforce

Develop new high-growth, high-value industries

Increase exports

Compete in the global clean energy economy

Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program

Washington State Department of Commerce has invested in the VERTical Cluster as part of its first cohort for funding through its Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program.

Current Innovation Clusters with support from Washington’s Department of Commerce include:

VERTical Cluster
Clean Energy Systems Innovation

Buildings, Utilities, and Infrastructure Living Together (BUILT) Cluster

Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewable Generated E-Fuels (CHARGE) Cluster

Enterprise Digital Growth Ecosystem (EDGE) Cluster

Washington Autonomous Vehicle Cluster (WAV-C)

Pacific Northwest Aerospace Cluster (PNWAC)

Sustainable Aviation Technologies and Energies (SATE) Cluster