Around the Table: PNNL, Seattle Kraken, Retail Lockbox, Seahawks, Microsoft, PSE, Virginia Mason, & more

Adapting to COVID-19

After Pacific Northwest National Laboratory summer internships went virtual because of COVID-19, interns continued to do research about biofuels, a radiation detector, and more. Learn how PNNL adapted to new circumstances from this column by director Steven Ashby. The Space Needle has reopened to visitors with limited capacity after investing $1 million in coronavirus-related safety upgrades. Staff installed ultraviolet lights to kill airborne viruses, eliminated the use of cash, and other safety measures. The Seattle Kraken recently opened its flagship retail store with by-appointment shopping and safety measures such as body temperature scans. Learn more here.

Supporting and raising awareness about racial equity

Boeing has committed $10.6 million in grant funding to 20 nonprofits working to address racial equity and social justice in the U.S., including grants to increase the number of minority and underserved students pursuing STEM education and diversify aerospace talent. In July, Retail Lockbox CEO and President Craig Dawson participated in a Puget Sound Business Journal virtual panel discussion on race and business. Dawson discussed the income gap, the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses, and more. Microsoft launched a community skills grant program that will include a $15 million investment for Black- and African American-led nonprofits that aim to increase skill development and economic opportunities.

Closing gaps in digital access

As remote learning begins for most students across Washington state, the Seattle Seahawks, Microsoft, and Puget Sound Energy have provided funding for the new Digital Equity Initiative, hosted by Seattle Foundation and All In WA. The initiative will provide resources and funding for hardware and devices, access to hot spots, and technological support. Learn more here.

Sharing healthcare expertise

Gary Kaplan from Virginia Mason and Susan Mullaney from Kaiser Permanente Washington recently participated in a “State of Our Hospitals panel” at the Puget Sound Business Journal‘s Health Care of the Future virtual half-day conference. In addition, Dave Sabey from Sabey Corp. took part in a panel discussion about how tech is changing health care and response, and Jean Gabarra from Microsoft‘s Health AI team discussed artificial intelligence and medicine.