Initiative seeks to aggregate emerging technologies that address water issues
The Water Council, headquartered in Milwaukee, launched a commercialization initiative that will match manufacturers, utilities and the agricultural industry with water and water-related technology research for advancement into the marketplace. As part of an expansion of the Water Council, the Innovation. Commercialization. Exchange. (ICE) Institute will aggregate, evaluate and connect emerging technologies that address water issues across a range of industries.
Working in partnership with the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC), the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) and the Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America, the ICE Institute will serve as a technology vetting program, providing:
- Access to a broad spectrum of innovations within federal and university research labs;
- A nationwide scouting team to identify emerging technologies and processes;
- A detailed database and clearinghouse of pre-screened innovations powered by the Global Water Port, a web-based research and data dashboard; and
- Product matching and development teams to connect users to promising technologies.
“Water technologies are often a generation behind, due to a variety of factors, including lack of federally led channels or venture capital, siloed research in university and federal labs, and lack of awareness and resources among small and medium businesses,” said Rich Meeusen, chairman, president and CEO of Badger Meter, and cofounder and co-chair of the Water Council. “While water technology solutions may readily be available in labs across the country, industry is likely unaware of the research nor can they easily access this work.”
“Similar to scouts in sports, we will utilize a team of experts to identify promising research and innovations that are spread across the U.S.,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of the Water Council. “In addition, much like an executive search firm, the ICE Institute will also incorporate a powerful evaluation process that will target promising innovations for our members, which will save them considerable time and money.”
The ICE Institute focuses on an array of water-intensive issues and processes common to all industries and translates solutions between sectors. Its pipeline provides prioritized needs, assessed technologies and routes to market.
In March 2016, the Water Council made a commitment during the White House Water Summit to develop a channel of access to FLC's water and water-related technologies. By partnering with FLC and the U.S. Water Partnership, the ICE Institute will make water technologies more accessible through the Global Water Port.
In coordination with the launch of the ICE Institute, on Oct. 26 the Water Council is joining efforts with FLC to host the Water Innovation Virtual Forum, a one-day online event where FLC will showcase its available water technologies, and policymakers and industry will converge to strategize new solutions to water challenges through innovation.
WEDC invested $75,000 through a Targeted Industry Projects program grant to support the development of strategy, institute design and operating model, recognizing that this is an important phase in the evolution of the Water Council.
With the launch of the ICE Institute, the Water Council is debuting a new membership structure for the organization with special reduced memberships through Dec. 31. More information on this promotion and about the ICE Institute can be found at www.thewatercouncil.com/ice.