Diving Into Innovation, stewardship & resiliency work

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

Things are literally “BREWing” at The Water Council! We just completed “Milwaukee Week” for participants in our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator, plus we are busy planning our Water Leaders Summit and Asian Development Bank Roadshow in September. And did I mention our NSF Regional Innovation Engine planning? More on all those topics below.

With everything on our plate, I am delighted to welcome two summer interns to The Water Council. They will help lighten the load and hopefully learn a little as they begin their careers:

Isabella Montemurro is our communications intern, helping with social media, graphics, emails and planning our Water Leaders Summit. She’s a rising senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying business marketing.

Jane Schaub is returning for a second summer as our water stewardship intern, working on business development for our WAVE program and related water stewardship initiatives. She is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in December with degrees in business management and environmental studies.

water leaders summit

Registration is now open for our Water Leaders Summit happening Sept. 13-14 at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Expanding off of our recent NSF award, this year’s theme is Building Water Resiliency, and there will be plenty to talk about! Register by June 30 to receive $80 off. Members of The Water Council also receive an additional discount. Click here to learn more.

The event is supported by strong sponsors. I’m pleased to announce Watts Water Technologies recently committed to a platinum-level sponsorship. Additional sponsors include Badger Meter, Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District, Molson Coors and more. Contact me to see how your company can be listed among these water leaders.

Immediately following the Summit, we will join the U.S. Commercial Service-Wisconsin in hosting the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Roadshow on Sept. 15, also at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Learn how the ADB finances development projects and how U.S. companies can engage and work with the bank on opportunities in the water and energy sectors.

NSF Resiliency Engine

The response has been incredible to the news of our $1 million Development Award from the National Science Foundation. The Water Council and our partners are planning a Resiliency Innovation Engine focused on water and energy resiliency for manufacturers and utilities. Many people have contacted us to congratulate us and find out how to get involved.

We are diving right into the work. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and we have scheduled a couple of initial public engagement sessions as well:

Contact Laura Mullen if you wish to attend either event. Stay tuned for more events across the region to be announced soon. Keep up with all our NSF activities by signing up for our Engine Mailing List.

innovation update

As I noted, we just completed our in-person week for our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator cohort. Leaders of the 10 innovative water tech startups in this year’s cohort have been attending workshops, exploring Milwaukee and getting to know each other better. It’s wonderful to have everyone here in person for the first time since we retooled our BREW program three years ago.

On Thursday, the companies presented their innovations at our annual Demo Day, held this year in person and virtually. Afterward, they went to our first-ever curated investor event for BREW participants co-hosted by NVNG Investments. We heard very positive feedback from our BREW participants and event attendees. Stay tuned for a more thorough wrap-up after we’ve had time to catch our breath!

We are grateful to Beckhoff Automation, Xylem and Thales Water Advisors for sponsoring BREW and to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for sponsoring Milwaukee week.

water stewardship

Our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified program continues to grow rapidly. This month, we announced the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and accounting giant KPMG U.S. have joined the program. I’m especially pleased at the variety of companies and organizations that see the value of creating enterprise-wide water stewardship programs. Taking this action makes great business sense as it reduces material and reputational risks, leading to improved financial performance and a positive impact on watersheds along the way.

Stewardship is also being fully embraced by the water industry’s leading associations. That’s why the Water Environment Federation is organizing a Circular Water Economy Summit from July 18 to 20 in Nashville, Tenn. Water professionals from the automotive; manufacturing; food and beverage; pulp, paper, and packaging; and energy industries will share lessons learned and identify new solutions to managing water profitably and sustainably.

Our vice president of water stewardship, Matt Howard, sits on the advisory committee for the event. While you are there be sure to talk with Matt about how WAVE can help your organization.

new members

With all the activity going on around here, it’s no wonder we are increasing our membership as well. We’re pleased to welcome these new members this month. Contact Laura Mullen, our member engagement manager, if you’re not yet a member to see how you can join our hub where water works!

member news & opportunities

The view from a window of Baird, where we held our investor event for BREW participants.