Milwaukee on Tuesday received federal designation as a “water technology cluster,” one of four newly named regional innovation centers receiving funds through the federal Small Business Administration.
The designation drives homes Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett‘s efforts to brand Milwaukee as the “fresh coast” and his messaging around the private-public effort to grow the city’s research and entrepreneurial profile in water technology. A delegation of Milwaukee business leaders including Barrett, representatives from the Water Council, university leaders and water tech company executives, visited Washington, D.C., in late July, where Barrett said they successfully pitched Milwaukee as a regional hub of water tech.
Barrett told the Milwaukee Business Journal the SBA particularly wanted to spotlight the Global Water Center’s partnership between government and local businesses as a national model. Of the four innovation clusters named Tuesday, Milwaukee was the only single city — rather than multi-state region — named.