A. O. Smith and The Water Council announce BREW Corporate freshwater technology challenge winner

Milwaukee, Wis. (March 20, 2019) — A. O. Smith Corporation and The Water Council (TWC) today announced WATERSURPLUS as the 2019 winner of the BREW Corporate Accelerator: Powered by A. O. Smith challenge. The BREW Accelerator program is designed to help support entrepreneurs and startups that are developing innovative freshwater technologies.

WATERSURPLUS, of Loves Park, IL, provides water treatment engineering and design services, custom equipment, a diverse rental fleet, a complete line of pre-engineered filtration equipment and on-site services like plant optimization. The WATERSURPLUS team has developed and is currently pilot testing a bio-inspired, low-fouling coating that significantly improves RO membrane performance from hard-to-treat water.

“We’re excited to partner with the WATERSURPLUS team. The team is not only experienced and knowledgeable in the RO technology field, but in the water technology space as well,” notes Dr. Robert Heideman, chief technology officer at A. O. Smith Corporation. “The relative maturity of their RO coating technology says a lot about their hard work and dedication in developing innovative technology for the water treatment industry.”

WATERSURPLUS president and owner John Barelli said, “At WATERSURPLUS we have always operated in a collaborative way, which I feel is a crucial ingredient in the innovation process. We are honored to be recognized for our efforts by A. O. Smith and The Water Council and we look forward to working with the A. O. Smith team.”

The TWC’s BREW (Business — Research — Entrepreneurship — in Water) is the world’s foremost freshwater seed accelerator. Designed to advance the commercialization of innovation-driven startups in the global water industry, the BREW connects early stage technology ventures with the resources they need to fast track the creation and deployment of real-world solutions to freshwater challenges. The BREW is a three-and-a-half month program focused on startups with technological concepts that address a specific area such as nutrient runoff and other novel solutions.  The curriculum uses customer discovery to lead participants through the process of refining their value proposition and understanding their future customers.

The TWC’s BREW Corporate Accelerator focused on six areas of interest to A. O. Smith: water treatment, water heating, sensors, IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

BREW Corporate is an expansion of the BREW Accelerator program developed by TWC. BREW Corporate offers participants the same framework, funding and access to resources as the BREW, but with pre-existing interest and committed funding from a corporate partner. BREW Corporate is designed to solicit viable technical solutions for specific real-world challenges that have been identified and outlined by the funding corporation. The funding corporation, along with coaches and technical advisors, will help optimize every winners’ business model, speed up its technology’s commercialization and directly support the startup’s entry into the marketplace. As with all TWC competitions, potential BREW Corporate participants can submit their applications through WaterTechHub.com.

All entries were reviewed by a panel of A. O. Smith employees, TWC senior staff, and subject matter experts in the area of freshwater science.
“We are pleased to have A. O. Smith Corporation as a three time BREW Corporate Accelerator partner,” states Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “It is especially exciting to witness a water tech corporation continuously find innovative solutions from water tech startups through the BREW.”

A. O. Smith will provide the WATERSURPLUS team with $50,000 to develop its technology.  WATERSURPLUS will also participate in TWC’s three-and-a-half month accelerator program focused on customer discovery.  In addition, the WATERSURPLUS team will also receive:

“The advancements demonstrated in our most recent innovations, leveraging intelligent micro disruptions during the operation of the reverse osmosis system, will reduce the economic and environmental costs of producing purified water. These operational improvements occur at a time when increased efforts to manage our global water resources are of increasing importance,” Barelli concludes.


About A. O. Smith
A. O. Smith Corporation, with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA is a global leader applying innovative technology and energy-efficient solutions to products manufactured and marketed worldwide. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment and boilers, as well as a manufacturer of water treatment and air purification products. For more information, visit www.aosmith.com.

About The Water Council
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA next to the world’s largest freshwater system and home to one of the most influential freshwater technology hubs in the world, The Water Council (TWC) is recognized as a global center for advancing water technologies and stewardship. At its heart, TWC is a non-profit, membership organization that connects, convenes and showcases the hub comprised of more than 238 water technology businesses and the diverse water leadership network of 200 members it is linked to from around the world. While TWC’s mission is centered on driving economic development, attracting and connecting world-class talent, and supporting water-focused technology innovation, its larger goal is to help secure freshwater resources for the world by driving solutions to the numerous industries that need and use a large amount of water. Learn more by visiting www.thewatercouncil.com.

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