The Water Council Announces Fifth Round of Pilot Program Winners

Funding will enable four winning startups to prove out novel water-focused technologies in real-world settings—paving a path to commercialization

Milwaukee, Wis. – March 26, 2020 – The Water Council, a nonprofit organization championing water technology growth in the world’s freshwater hub, today announced the winners of its Pilot Program. Launched in 2015 and funded by grants from the Fund for Lake Michigan (FFLM), Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and Wells Fargo, the Pilot Program accelerates the validation of promising water technologies, paving a path to commercialization.

From solutions that address ozone purification for food and beverage applications to capturing bacteria in stormwater runoff, from capturing algae in wastewater and turning it into valuable by-products to a solution addressing failing septic systems, the following standout winners were chosen based on their ability to address integrated water solutions through innovation while maintaining a cost-efficient, scalable and deployable model:

The fifth round of Pilot Program winners was selected by FFLM and MMSD from a generous field of applicants. Commenting on several of the game-changing solution’s potential, “The technology proposed by DMR International has the potential to help reduce the biggest remaining threat to rivers and lakes across the country, polluted stormwater runoff,” said Matt Magruder, MMSD Environmental Research Manager. “And Gen3Bio technology shows promise for reducing costs to clean water at our water reclamation facilities.”

“In partnership with The Water Council, we’re keen to support the piloting of new technologies that have the potential to be game-changers in how we prevent pollution from fouling our region’s rivers and beaches,” said Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan.

According to Karen Frost, vice president of economic development at The Water Council, the strength of the Pilot Program is directly attributed to funding partners committed to water tech innovation. “Because of FFLM, MMSD and Wells Fargo’s pilot support, four novel water innovations that address critical water challenges are now on the path to commercialization, resulting in not only strong market potential but also high-value impact.”

Since the launch of the Pilot Program in 2015, the program has now awarded grants of $643,000 to 13 companies to help pilot technologies in Wisconsin while accelerating the deployment of technologies needed to solve problems, create new business and improve water quality on a regional and global scale.


About The Water Council

Headquartered in the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, next to the world’s largest freshwater system, The Water Council is a nonprofit organization that drives economic, technology and talent development to support the global water industry. As the leading U.S. cluster, and one of the most powerful water technology hubs in the world, the organization convenes global water leaders and supports more than 190 members from small and mid-sized businesses and large global corporations to engineers, entrepreneurs, utilities, government agencies, education programs and nonprofits, with valuable services, programming and networking opportunities. Established as a 501(c)(3) in 2009, the driving force behind its success is the vibrant spirit of collaboration between public, private and academic sectors with a strong, shared commitment to finding innovative solutions to critical global water challenges. For more information, visit

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