Commercialization at heart of new Water Council institute

Global Water Center Building (1)
The Global Water Center at 247 W Freshwater Way.

The Water Council on Monday announced what it called a “groundbreaking commercialization initiative” aimed at bringing new innovations into the marketplace.

Global Water Center Building (1)
The Global Water Center at 247 W Freshwater Way.

The ICE (innovation, commercialization and exchange) Institute will seek to match emerging technologies with manufacturers, utilities and the agricultural industry.

The project will serve as a technology-vetting program and is a partnership with the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America.

The Institute will provide access to federal and university research labs and their innovations a nationwide scouting team to identify emerging technologies, a database of pre-screened innovations, and product matching and development teams.

BizTimes first reported on The Water Council’s plans for a new model in June.

Rich Meeusen, Water Council co-founder and co-chair and Badger Meter Inc, chairman president and chief executive officer, said water technology solutions are often readily available in research labs, but industry is often unaware or not able to access the work.

“Water technologies are often a generation behind, due to a variety of factors, including lack of federally led channels or venture capital, siloed research in university and federal labs, and lack of awareness and resources among small and medium businesses,” Meeusen said.

Dean Amhaus, Water Council president and CEO, said the ICE Institute would include “a powerful evaluation process” to target promising innovations for members. He compared the process to an executive search firm and said it would save members time and money.

The Water Council is also developing a new membership structure for the institute. Development of the project was supported by $75,000 from WEDC through the targeted industry projects program.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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