The Water Council is launching a new global competition series, Tech Challenge, to find and commercialize new freshwater technologies.
The contests will each have a theme, chosen by corporate sponsors with problems in need of solutions. The hope is to provide the corporations with rapid innovation. Among the topics identified for the first year of the competition are: sensors, filtration and disinfection.
Anyone from around the world can apply for Tech Challenge, including students, water tech professionals, entrepreneurs and companies. The Milwaukee-based Water Council will select the finalists, who will pitch their innovation to the corporate sponsor, for the chance to earn prize money and co-development perks.
Corporate sponsors include: Milwaukee-based water heater manufacturer A.O. Smith Corp.; Brown Deer-based water meter maker Badger Meter Inc.; Milwaukee-based Rexnord Corp. and its plumbing products division Zurn Industries LLC; and Pittsburgh water and water treatment products manufacturer Evoqua Water Technologies. Other corporations and utilities seeking innovative solutions can also sponsor challenges.
Applications for the Tech Challenge are being accepted from Nov. 1 to Jan. 13 at watertechhub.com. The Water Council plans to announce finalists in February.
“Tech Challenge is similar to a matchmaking program. We bring innovators together with companies seeking breakthrough solutions for challenging water technology issues,” said Dean Amhaus, president and chief executive officer of The Water Council. “While we will be awarding cash prizes to the Tech Challenge winners, the big winners are any applicants and any corporate sponsors that, through the process, get connected and reach a business deal where a solution is sold and a product is delivered to consumers.”