The Water Council Receives Cluster Grant Under the U.S. Commerce Department’s Regional Innovation Strategies Program
MILWAUKEE, WI, March 30, 2015 —U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that The Water Council is among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program grants. The Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program, which is being run by the Department’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, and Science and Research Park Development Grants. Secretary Pritzker announced the recipients of the first two funding opportunities today. Recipients of the third grant will be announced in the coming weeks.
“As America’s “Innovation Agency,” the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the innovators and job creators of tomorrow,” said Secretary Pritzker. “We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market. The Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to advance this mission across the United States, strengthening our economy and our global competitiveness.”
The Water Council received $71,625 under the “Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds” program. The grant will help to offset portions of the initial marketing and legal costs associated with the launch of The Water Council’s Water Seed Fund.
“This award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration confirms that southeast Wisconsin is the nation’s leading cluster for the development and commercialization of water technology. The launch of the Water Seed Fund will add the missing piece to the puzzle – technology, entrepreneurs, markets and now capital,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “We are very pleased to be able to continue our work with the Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration.”
Early access to capital is crucial for startups, but can be difficult to obtain outside traditional startup hubs. Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds provide technical assistance funding to support the feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds, which will help improve access to capital for entrepreneurs across the United States. The total amount of funding for the U.S. Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds under RIS is nearly $2 million.
For more information about the Regional Innovation Strategies Program, including a full list of the 2014 grant recipients, please visit: http://www.eda.gov/oie/2014-risp-competition.htm.
About The Water Council
The Water Council, the only organization of its kind in the United States, was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. With more than 150 water technology companies in the Milwaukee area, the region’s water industry is a $10.5 billion dollar market and accounts for four percent of the world’s total water business. The non-profit organization, consisting of more than 160 members, is linking together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic water professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. For more information, visit www.thewatercouncil.com or contact us by phone at 1-414-988-8750.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. For more information, visit www.eda.gov.