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International Water Association Water21, April 2011, Bill McCann reports.

Research and Development Article, "Cincinnati Water Technology Cluster to Support Economic Growth."

At a time when stimulation of economic development has become a dominant interest throughout the western world, an approach currently taking shape in the city of Cincinnati in Ohio, US, offers a pointer to the important part that regional water industry interests might play. Following a suggestion by US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), the several arms of a multi-faceted industry in this region around the junction of the three states of Ohio,Kentucky and Indiana warmed to the idea of establishing an innovation cluster for water technology.

More Information: Research and Development Article, "Cincinnati Water Technology Cluster to Support Economic Growth." (PDF) (1 pp, 68 KB)

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WERF's Paul L. Busch Award Offers $100,000 for Innovative Water Quality Research

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), through the Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research, is offering $100,000 to encourage researchers working in wastewater, water reuse, biosolids, stormwater, watersheds, and other areas to pursue groundbreaking research. Interested individuals or teams must submit their application to WERF by June 1, 2011.

More information on the Paul L. Busch Award annoucment.

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CONTACT:
Latisha Petteway
202-564-3191
202-564-4355

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2011

Administrator Jackson, SBA Administrator Mills Announce Launch of Water Technology Innovation Cluster

Smart environmental protection creates jobs

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to announce a new collaborative effort called the Water Technology Innovation Cluster (WTIC). WTIC will develop and commercialize innovative technologies to solve environmental and public health challenges, encourage sustainable economic development, and create jobs. As a starting point, WTIC will focus on technologies in the states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana that will help protect the health of millions of Americans by developing state-of-the-science safeguards for clean water.

This region is home to many small firms ready to seize the opportunities presented by WTIC. Small businesses are the engine of growth for the economy and they develop the cutting-edge products and services we need to stay competitive on a global scale. By bringing them together with public utilities, research partners, and others, their ideas will have greater opportunities to move from the drawing board to the marketplace.

“Protecting America's waters is one of EPA's top priorities, and we have called for innovative strategies and technology to meet our nation's 21st century water needs. By bringing together public utilities, research partners, and innovative businesses, the Water Technology Innovation Cluster will be instrumental in strengthening health protections for millions of Americans and promoting investments in cutting-edge technology,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “This cluster will benefit from the region's abundance of cutting-edge companies. Investments made here will encourage continued growth, while positioning our nation to lead the way in a new market of environmental technologies.”

"All across America, innovative small businesses are creating jobs and rebuilding the economy. The Water Technology Innovation Cluster will lead to new opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout the greater Cincinnati area,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “This public/private partnership will not only improve public health, but also help keep us competitive around the world by allowing small businesses to invest in new ideas."

A regional technology cluster is a geographic concentration of interconnected firms—businesses, suppliers, service providers—and supporting institutions such as local government, business chambers, universities, investors, and others that work together in an organized manner to promote economic growth and technological innovation.

EPA has invested $5 million to conduct key studies of the environmental technology marketplace for drinking water, acquire the services of a cluster consultant, and conduct technology and knowledge mapping of the region to gauge its strengths. WTIC will develop, test, and market innovative processes and technologies including those that:

  • Are sustainable, and water and energy efficient
  • Will be cost effective for the utilities and consumers
  • Address a broad array of contaminants
  • Improve public health protection

In addition, WTIC will move forward with the development of green infrastructure, including rain gardens. The rain gardens will be designed to receive stormwater runoff from roads, roofs, and parking lots. The rain gardens’ sandy soils allow stormwater to gain access to the native soils below and eventually contribute to groundwater recharge. Pollutants and nutrients in stormwater runoff are removed by rain garden vegetation and soils through biological and physical processes.

Based on the history of EPA’s laboratory in Cincinnati on water research, Administrator Jackson selected this region to launch federal support of WTIC. Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana have a strong history of water research and water technology innovation. A large portion of the jobs created will be based in the region to assist with research and development as needed. By bringing the small businesses together with public utilities, research partners, and others, the technologies will have a greater opportunity to move from the drawing board to the marketplace. WTIC and the region intend to use these assets as a platform for building a technology-driven economy that enhances environmental policy development, and helps protect human health and the environment at the regional, national, and international levels.

At present, the WTIC steering committee is the only formal cluster entity leading the planning and development. The steering committee is currently developing a framework and operating structure that will guide WTIC’s makeup and operating processes. The intention is for WTIC to flourish under its own power, with EPA as one of many participants collaborating to develop technologies to solve environmental challenges.

More information on WTIC

More information on rain gardens

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CONTACT
EPA Press Office
press@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2011

JAN 18–19: Administrator Jackson Travels to Cincinnati, Ann Arbor

Jackson to discuss clean water and emerging environmental technologies

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio on January 18 and Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 19 to highlight innovative efforts to protect Americans’ water and air quality and other advances in environmental technologies.

On Tuesday, January 18, Administrator Jackson will join U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, University of Cincinnati President Gregory H. Williams, local officials, and others at an event at EPA’s research laboratory in Cincinnati to formally launch the Water Technology Innovation Cluster (WTIC) involving Southwestern Ohio, Southeastern Indiana and Northern Kentucky. WTIC will research and develop new environmental technologies to help improve water quality in local communities.

On Wednesday, January 19, the Administrator will join Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne to announce a research and development project to explore and evaluate an innovative drive-train technology for light duty vehicles.

Press wishing to attend either event must RSVP to press@epa.gov

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

11:00 a.m. Administrator Jackson Joins U.S. SBA Administrator Karen Mills, University of Cincinnati President Gregory H. Williams and local officials to launch Water Technology Innovation Cluster

Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center
26 W. Martin Luther King Dr.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45268
OPEN PRESS*
*Note: Reporters wishing to attend this event must RSVP to press@epa.gov

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

11:00 a.m. Administrator Jackson Holds Press Event with Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne

EPA National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory
2565 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
OPEN PRESS*
*Note: Reporters wishing to attend this event must RSVP to press@epa.gov

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