LIFT Works Together with Water Technology Clusters
Water technology clusters bring together geographically concentrated groups of companies, government agencies, research institutions, and other organizations to spur and accelerate water innovation and new business. Did you know there are currently over a dozen water technology and innovation clusters in North America? These clusters are working locally and regionally to foster economic development by helping support and grow new water technologies and companies that are providing solutions to challenging problems. These water technology clusters are in various stages of development, and most have developed only in the last 3-5 years. Some of the more mature clusters include The Water Council in Milwaukee, WaterTAP in Ontario, and Confluence in Cincinnati, and a number of others including NEWIN in New England and AccelerateH2O in Texas are gaining momentum and growing fast.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a cluster program which supports clusters focused on innovation in clean air and water. Sally Gutierrez at the Office of Research and Development in Cincinnati has been leading this effort. The program has developed an incredibly informative website with several resources including guidance on Building a Successful Water Technology Cluster. Do you want to find out if there is a cluster near you? Check out the cluster map. Engaging with local clusters can provide new opportunities for you and your organization to connect with water innovators and entrepreneurs.
The LIFT program has been working together with water technology clusters and the U.S. EPA clusters program to coordinate and collaborate on advancing new technologies into practice. For example, several clusters have been promoting the LIFT Technology Scans to companies in their region with new technology solutions. They are encouraging them to apply in order to connect their technologies with interested municipal and industrial facility owners participating in the LIFT program and to partner on demonstration, evaluation, and implementation. LIFT program representatives have also participated in numerous national meetings of the technology clusters organized by the EPA. LIFT staff have presented to the group on ways that the clusters and the LIFT program can collaborate, for example through LIFT testing and demonstration projects of new technologies.